Congress approves the Declaration of Independence which states that the colonies must be free and independent states. All delegates vote in favor of the document except for those from New York, who abstain from voting.
The Second Continental Congress votes to declare independence from Great Britain then refines the text of the Declaration of Independence. After the text is revised, the delegates sign the document and disseminate it to the colonists. George Washington reads the document to his local soldiers, and its words invigorate them to fight for independence.
This clip explains the Declaration of Independence and why it was drafted. It also mentions key people involved in the drafting of the document, including Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.
After the colonists sent the Olive Branch Petition to King George, they received a response known as the Proclamation of Rebellion. John Hancock reads the Proclamation, which declared some elements of the colonies in a state of rebellion. It served as a warning for those who were not loyal to the king and left the colonists less convinced that the king would resolve their disputes with England, leading to a movement towards declaring independence.