SAT Subject US History Practice Question 990: Answer and Explanation
71. One of the main reasons for the writing of the Declaration of Independence was
A. to establish a new political philosophy.
B. to state an existing political philosophy.
C. to allow the colonies to obtain new lands.
D. to gain support for the Revolution among the colonists.
E. to protect human rights.
Correct Answer: D
Though many colonists rebelled against British laws including the Stamp Act (1765), the Townshend Acts (1767), the Tea Act (1773) and the Intolerable Acts (1774), most still wanted to reconcile with England. After Thomas Paine published Common Sense (1776), which advocated independence from England, the Continental Congress drafted the Declaration of Independence to justify the split and rally further support from both fellow Americans and the international community, especially France. The point was not to create a new political philosophy (A), nor to restate the philosophy Thomas Jefferson borrowed from John Locke (B), who argued that government should protect human rights (E). Also, there was no mention of gaining land (C) in the Declaration of Independence.