The Declaration of Independence is a brilliant piece of writing built upon the ideas of the Enlightenment. It is one of the most well-known documents in the United States. It was created by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, and Benjamin Franklin. The whole purpose of The Declaration of Independence was to announce and explain the separation from Great Britain to form the United States. The Declaration of Independence was the document that the Second Continental Congress used for the meeting in the Pennsylvania State House on July 4, 1776, the day the United States gained its Independence. This essay will talk about the effectiveness of Jefferson’s organization of The Declaration of Independence and how The Declaration of Independence was influenced by the Enlightenment. The Declaration of Independence was based a lot on the ideas of the Enlightenment and its thinkers like John Locke. One of the two big things it was influenced by was the law of people having their Natural Rights. Natural rights are rights that every human being has just for being a human. These rights are also called unalienable, meaning you cannot take these rights away from any human being. The three parts of Natural Rights are Life, Liberty, and Property. However, Thomas Jefferson made some minor changes changing them to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The other Big influence to The Declaration of Independence was the Social Contract. The Social contract was created by the Parisian philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Social Contract stated that the Government could not make rules by divine right or intrinsic authority. All of the authors of The Declaration of Independence wanted to make a free country, which Great Britain has never been. They wanted to make a country in which the people living there can much more opportunities than in other countries. In Great Britain, it is very hard to get into the higher social class where in America it’s easier. The Enlightenment really influenced the writing of The Declaration of Independence not only to convince people from Great Britain to come to the United States but also to convince the loyalists that declaring Independence would be good for them. On June 11, 1776, the Congress created a “Committee of Five” which was a group of five people. The Committee consisted of these five people, John Adams of Massachusetts, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston of New York. Before Thomas Jefferson was chosen for being the main author of The Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee was actually supposed to be. The congress really wanted Richard to write because of his work, the Lee Revolution. But things changed because he was already assigned to the Committee of Confederation for to write the Articles of Confederation. So him helping with The Declaration of Independence was way to much work for Henry so he declined the offer to write it. So the Second Continental Congress selected Thomas Jefferson as the author of The Declaration of Independence. Thomas was just a young delegate from Virginia at the time. But however, he would soon become one of the most well-known people in American History. At first, Thomas Jefferson did not want to write The Declaration of Independence. Instead, he wanted John Adams to write it. John Adams had three reasons that he should not write The Declaration of Independence that he said to Thomas Jefferson. The first reason was that Thomas Jefferson was from Virginia, and many Virginians are usually head of the business kind of people. His second reason was that he was pretty unpopular, but Thomas Jefferson was pretty well-known. The third reason was that he said his writing was not really good and Thomas Jefferson wrote ten times better than he did. This convinced Thomas Jefferson that he should write The Declaration of Independence. Over the next seventeen days, Thomas Jefferson wrote The Declaration of Independence while under the advisement of the Committee of Confederation. This act put Thomas Jefferson’s name down in history forever. Thomas Jefferson’s organization of The Declaration of Independence was very successful and the Continental Congress declared the colonies independent on July 4, 1776.And in conclusion, The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, and the United States of America gained its independence. The day that marked a huge step in History. Still today the 4th of July is celebrated all across the country. Thomas Jefferson establishing The Declaration of Independence was very successful and he and the four others of the Committee of five will always be remembered as a huge part of United States history.