Free and Independent States?

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, … do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States….

From The Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776, Philadephia, PA

“Free and Independent States?” What? It says that?

Indeed it does.

We, as Americans, celebrate the Declaration of Independence on July 4 every year. Most Americans know that the document declared that the thirteen colonies would no longer recognize the authority of the British Crown. We were, henceforth, independent of King George III and his monarchy.

“We,” however, were not the United States of America. “We” were thirteen free and independent states. Somehow, this part of the Declaration is not appreciated.

It should be.

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