Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lee Resolution of June 7, 1776

On May 15, 1776, the brand new independent Commonwealth of Virginia instructed its delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to present a resolution for independence from Britain. In concordance with those instructions, Richard Henry Lee delivered the following three-part resolution on June 7, 1776, which became the catalyst for the Declaration of Independence.

The Lee Resolution presented June 7, 1776
The sideways dashes are alongside the list of 12 colonies approving the motion on July 2.

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

This resolution was seconded by John Adams of Massachusetts, and approved on July 2, 1776.

The independence clause of the resolution was satisfied by the Declaration of Independence. A model for making treaties passed in September 1776 enabled the second clause dealing with foreign alliances, but a plan for confederation of the states was not completed until November 1777.

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