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SS.7.C.1.4 - The Declaration of Independence


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What You Need to Know:

Student Reading Review for SS.7.C.1.4

Analyze the ideas (natural rights, role of the government) and complaints set forth in the Declaration of Independence.


Benchmark Clarifications:

  • Students will explain the concept of natural rights as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Read more!
  • Students will identify the natural rights specifically expressed in the Declaration of Independence (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). Read more!
  • Students will analyze the relationship between natural rights and the role of government: 1. People are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; 2. Governments are instituted among men to secure these rights; 3. Governments derive their just powers from the consent of governed; and 4. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government. Read more!
  • Students will recognize the connection between specific grievances in the Declaration of Independence and natural rights’ violations. Read more!
  • Students will recognize colonial complaints as identified in the Declaration of Independence (imposing taxes without the consent of the people, suspending trial by jury, limiting judicial powers, quartering soldiers, and dissolving legislatures). Read more!

Example One (Low Complexity)

The passage below is from a historical document.


Which document contains this passage?

A. Declaration of Independence

B. Articles of Confederation

C. English Bill of Rights

D. U.S. Constitution


Example Two (Moderate Complexity)

The passage below was written by Thomas Paine in his 1776 book, Common Sense.


Based on this passage, with which complaint against the king from the Declaration of Independence would Thomas Paine agree?

A. persecuting immigrant groups

B. taking away religious rights

C. taking away political rights

D. persecuting racial groups


Example Three (High Complexity)

What is one way that the ideas stated in the Declaration of Independence are evident today?

A. equal employment opportunities

B. voting rights amendments

C. selective service

D. term limits


C.1.4 - Vocabulary

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FLDOE Civics Tutorials

courtesy of FL Department of Education​​

Discovery Education


  • The Charges Against King George III (total length 7:25) from Just the Facts: American History: The Declaration of Independence (Recommended for classroom use)
  • The principles of the Declaration of Independence (total length 1:38) from the Declaration of Independence: A Foundation of Ideas for a New Age

Civics on Demand

Additional Resources

Textbook Review


Chapter 2, Section 2 - p. 34-37