The United States first started to form a government at the First Continental Congress. However, it was during the Second Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776 that the United States declared its independence from the British Empire. Thomas Jefferson, together with other founding fathers such as Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, wrote the Declaration of Independence. It stated that all people have “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
Many of these rights are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 amendments of the Constitution. More amendments were added later to improve on the rights of the people, including abolishing slavery and the right for all people to vote regardless of gender or race.
In 1788, the United States’ Constitution was officially ratified. The constitution became the highest form of law in the country.