The Declaration of Independence

America's First Founding Document in U.S. History and Culture

by John R. Vile


Thomas Jefferson asked that his authorship of the Declaration of Independence be the first of three accomplishments listed on his tombstone.

Print Flyer
Cover image for The Declaration of Independence

November 2018


Pages 437
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/History
  American History/General

This A-to-Z encyclopedia surveys the history, meaning, and enduring impact of the Declaration of Independence by explaining its contents and concepts, profiling the Founding Fathers, and detailing depictions of the Declaration in art, music, and literature.

A comprehensive resource for understanding all aspects of the Declaration of Independence, which marked the formal beginning of the colonies' march toward the creation of the United States of America, this encyclopedia contains more than 200 entries examining various facets of the Declaration of Independence and its enduring impact on American law, politics, and culture.

It details key concepts, principles, and intellectual influences that informed the creation of the document, reviews charges leveled in the Declaration against the British crown, summarizes the events of the first and second Continental Congresses, profiles influential architects and signers of the Declaration, discusses existing copies of the Declaration, explains the document's influence on other governments/nations, covers historic sites related to the document, and discusses depictions of the document and its architects in American art, music, and literature over time.


  • Contains more than 200 encyclopedia entries pertaining to the Declaration of Independence
  • Provides cross references and resources for further study in each entry
  • Includes the full text of the Declaration of Independence
  • Helps readers to comprehend the historical significance of the document in a chronology of events
Author Info

John R. Vile is professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at Middle Tennessee State University. He has written and edited numerous previous works including The Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789–2015; The Constitutional Convention of 1787: An Encyclopedia of America's Founding; Re-Framers: 170 Eccentric, Visionary, and Patriotic Proposals to Rewrite the U.S. Constitution, and four volumes for ABC-CLIO's Documents Decoded series.

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

The War for American Independence cover imageFounding Documents of America cover imageEncyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789–2015, 4th Edition cover image
Encyclopedia of American Civil Rights and Liberties cover imageFreedom of Speech cover imageThe Powers of the U.S. Congress cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips