In my opinion, the Declaration of Independence is a powerful document. It is intriguing in the fact that the writers of this declaration are unanimous and united, and in its message to a country that evidently underestimated the compliance of a new nation. This document doesn't give the impression that the people of the colonies are like rebellious children refusing to do what's best for them, but rather a people who are reluctantly compelled by a tyrannical king to declare their independence. Maybe at the time no one could really figure out the exact role that the colonies should play except for maybe becoming a financial benefit for Great Britain, but it is clear that the colonists figured out exactly what they would no longer tolerate. While the list of grievances are long, there is not the sense that this declaration for independence was written as a hasty reaction--a temper tantrum, if you will.
There is more of a sense that the first preference would have been to remain British; a sense that it saddened America to have to separate from a much loved mother who treated her distant offspring like an uncared for step-child.
The powerful aspect of the Declaration of Independence is in the title itself: The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America. That somehow, a group of men, representing the colonies of America had such a strong resolve in moving ahead towards independence, having a clear and united sense of what was no longer acceptable treatment by King George III and Great Britain. When the imaginations and the resolutions of mere mortals are unanimous and united, it is an almost impossible force to vanquish.
Those who consider the Declaration of Independence as merely a historical document are cheating themselves out of a sense...