In the Declaration, Jefferson eloquently announced the creation of the new American nation. He presented Americans as a self-governing people committed to the principles of liberty and equality in the face of British tyranny. “All men are created equal,” Jefferson wrote, and the importance of this ideal necessitated that “a people … advance from that subordination in which they have hitherto remained” in order to “institute new government.” The founders’ vision did not include one-fifth of the American population: enslaved men, women, and children who labored in nearly every one of the “Free and Independent States.”