The Declaration of Independence is the most important document in the history of the United States of America. Many other nations that gained their independence since this declaration was created in 1776 have used the four key ideals found within it as a guide for their own independence and government. In addition to achieving independence for the U.S, this document drastically changed the thinking of the entire world. The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress, states the reasons as to why the thirteen colonies wanted independence. The thirteen colonies wanted independence from Great Britain due to a number of practices that they felt were unfair, such as high taxes and lack of government representation. The four key ideals discussed throughout the declaration are equality, unalienable rights, consent of the governed, and the right to alter or abolish government. While each topic discussed is important to the founding of the United States, unalienable rights is the most important because without life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the other three key ideals are not as meaningful to our government and society today.