Tom DiLorenzo on the seemingly forgotten document that was adopted on July 4, 1776:
The Declaration of Independence, in which the American colonists declared their secession from the British empire, was "reinterpreted" for Americans, beginning with Lincoln, as an anti-secession document. The main ruse has always been to focus exclusively on the "all men are created equal" phrase (which Lincoln did not believe in, of course) at the exclusion of the rest of the Declaration.
The last paragraph of the Declaration is arguably the most important. It speaks of "the united States of America" with a small "u" in "united," clearly signifying that the signatories of the document considered themselves to be citizens of thirteen free, independent, and sovereign states that were united in the cause of seceding from the British empire. Then there is this:
"That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved, and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do."
Virginia, Massachusetts, and the other colonies were considered to be independent countries with their own governments, just like the British state or the French state. As such, they were considered to be SOVEREIGN, which is why they were later able to delegate a few of their powers, mostly for foreign affairs, to a central government that was in theory supposed to serve as their agent and in their interest.
When the King of England signed a peace treaty he named all of the individual states. That's who he waged war against, not something called "the United States government." In the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, the phrase "united states" is everywhere in the plural, further signifying this truth.