The Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the
Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies,
then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states and no longer under
British rule. Instead, they formed a new nation: the United States of America. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence,
which was passed on July 2 with no opposing vote cast. A committee of five had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready
when Congress voted on independence.