causes and necessity

The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms was a document issued by the Second Continental Congress on July 6, 1775.

The final draft of the Declaration was written by John Dickinson, who incorporated language from an earlier draft by Thomas Jefferson. Objectionable causes were described in the declaration, such as taxation without representation and non-address of the colonists' grievances.


In the 19th century, the authorship of the Declaration was disputed. In a collection of his works first published in 1801, John Dickinson took credit for writing the Declaration. This claim went unchallenged by Thomas Jefferson until many years later, when Jefferson was nearly 80 years old.

An initial draft was reportedly written by John Rutledge, a member of a committee of five appointed to create the Declaration. (1)


The bold statement near the end of the Declaration was written by Dickinson: "Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable."

(1) Source for this post: The Declaration For the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms