Chapter 20: With Liberty and Justice For All
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"Connecticut?"

"Connecticut votes yes."

General Kim stared awe-struck at the representatives in front of him despite his best efforts. The Declaration of Independence, one of the most famous documents in American history, was being ratified in front of his very own eyes. The room was missing a few members that were present in the other history and housed several new ones, but the ratification of the Declaration was still well underway. It didn't help that all the Founding Fathers, including General Washington who was beside him, were present in one room as well.

It was simply hard not to stare like an idiot while spectating one of the most defining moments in American history. Especially since the Declaration was now modified and refitted to declare something even more radical: that all men were created equal.

John Hancock, who was presiding over the vote, gave a curt nod to the Connecticut representative before jotting down the vote. "Very well. Delaware?"

The Delaware representative, a man named George Read, stood up from his seat and looked at the group, "Delaware is in favor of the Declaration."

"Noted. Iroquois?"

Montagu stood up to represent the five tribes that have agreed to acknowledge the authority of Congress. With the British removed from Quebec, the Iroquois Confederacy was now even more pressured to accept the offer of joining the United States. Onondaga readily accepted General Kim's proposal after seeing the fall of the British in Canada and the Mohawks were on the verge of doing so as well. And with the changes made to the Declaration, the tribes were more receptive to accepting the document. However, even though they acknowledged the authority of Congress, it didn't mean that they were readily going to accept integration into the proposed United States. Technically, they could still remain a sovereign state or territory, though most definitely heavily influenced by the United States. The representatives of the tribes had been debating amongst themselves for days and finally, it seemed as though they have finally come to a decision. "Our tribes have agreed to the Declaration, we will join the United States."

Silence reigned in the room for several moments before Hancock continued, "Thank you. We will continue, gentlemen. Massachusetts?"

John Adams stood up immediately and declared his answer, "Massachusetts votes yes, your honor."

"Maryland?"

"Maryland votes in favor of the Declaration."

"New Hampshire?"

"New Hampshire approves of the Declaration."

"New Jersey?"

"New Jersey votes yes."

"New York?"

The New York representative, a man named Philip Livingston, glanced at General Kim before nodding, "New York supports the document."

"North Carolina?"

Representative William Hooper remained stoic as he spoke, "North Carolina will vote in favor of the Declaration."

The decision caused a small stir amongst the representatives, but Hancock banged his gavel to silence the room, "Order! We will continue the vote and discuss the repercussions afterward. Now then, Nova Scotia?"

Johnathan Eddy, a man who was one of the leaders against the British in Nova Scotia in the other history, looked around the room nervously before speaking, "Nova Scotia votes yes, your honor."

"Very good. Pennsylvania?"

"Pennsylvania will support the Declaration," Franklin stated as he glanced at his fellow representatives.

"Quebec?"

Pelissier, who was selected as a representative of the French Canadian province, gave an appreciative nod to General Kim before answering, "Quebec votes yes to the Declaration."

"Rhode Island?"

"Rhode Island votes yes, your honor."

"South Carolina?"

The South Carolina delegation looked significantly smaller than before, but Representative Rutledge looked undeterred, "South Carolina will vote in favor of the Declaration."

Some members of the delegation looked positively murderous, but they kept silent as Hancock jotted down the affirmation. "And to the final colony, Virginia."

Thomas Jefferson's eyes swept the room and smiled, "Virginia is firmly in favor of the Declaration."

Hancock placed down his quill and cleared his throat, "It is settled, gentlemen. With a vote of fifteen to none, the representatives of the colonies and territories have voted unanimously in favor of Independence."

A long silence settled into the room and the representatives all glanced at each other uneasily. Native Americans stared at the colonials. The Quebecois representatives stared at the Nova Scotian representatives. The room was much more diverse than the other history and an air of uncertainty loomed in the room.

"Then let it be declared, that on this day, February 4th of the year of our Lord 1776, that the United States of America is free and forever free from British rule. May God bless our American states." Hancock stated as he banged his gavel for a final time.

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