We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, 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. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
The Arab Revolt was launched on 5 June 1916,  on the basis of the quid pro quo agreement in the correspondence.  However, less than three weeks earlier the governments of the United Kingdom, France, and Russia secretly concluded the Sykes–Picot Agreement , which Balfour described later as a "wholly new method" for carving up the area, after the 1915 agreement "seems to have been forgotten". [i] It was negotiated in late 1915 and early 1916 between Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot , with the primary arrangements being set out in draft form in a joint memorandum on 5 January 1916.   Sykes was a British Conservative and Unionist MP who had risen to a position of significant influence on Britain's Middle East policy, beginning with his seat on the 1915 De Bunsen Committee and his initiative to create the Arab Bureau .  Picot was a French diplomat and former consul-general in Beirut.  Their agreement defined the proposed spheres of influence and control in Western Asia should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I,   dividing many Arab territories into British- and French-administered areas. In Palestine, internationalisation was proposed,   with the form of administration to be confirmed after consultation with both Russia and Hussein;  the January draft noted Christian and Muslim interests, and that "members of the Jewish community throughout the world have a conscientious and sentimental interest in the future of the country."   [j] Prior to this point, no active negotiations with Zionists had taken place, but Sykes had been aware of Zionism, was in contact with Moses Gaster – a senior Zionist and former President of the English Zionist Federation  – and may have seen Samuel’s 1915 memorandum.   In Sykes’ mind, the agreement became outdated even before it was signed – in March 1916, he was to write in a private letter: "to my mind the Zionists are now the key of the situation".