When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. . .
Few documents mean more to Americans than the Declaration of Independence. The National Archives houses what is believed to be the original engrossed version of the Declaration. Click on the images above to see how the original Declaration looks today. Although faded, the Declaration is well preserved in an argon filled, bullet-proof chamber (but as this website explains, it’s nothing like what you may have seen in “National Treasure“). To view more American historical documents, check out the National Archives’ Digital Vault.