Friday, July 4, 2008

The Declaration.

What are the rights of the governed?

In 1770, this was the question men discussed in public houses, farms, churches and town squares. They talked about their grievances as well, as all men do, but eventually the discussion turned towards the question: Do we, the governed, have a lawful right to separate from them, the Governors?

The public conclusion to this question, written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, was the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America," or the Declaration of Independence, voted on July 4, 1776 by representatives of thirteen colonies. The war had begun between the colonials and mother England about one year prior. This document was, in effect, crossing a river with no way of return.

By declaring independence the colonies became independent states, united States. The Declaration was the apologia for independent existence of the thirteen colonies, for now one, only in purpose.

The signers knew the financial and personal risk. Lives would be lost and land forfeited toward an uncertain future; opposition to an organized, disciplined and experienced English military was almost foolhardy. The new states had not one ship to call a navy, few uniformed soldiers, no national treasury, not even a nation in the full sense. But they had, if I may say, a few good men, a good cause, maybe even Providence -- and certainly one exceptional man, without whom we would have certainly been defeated. Fifty-six men would sign that Declaration that day without enthusiastic fervor, but thoughtfully, as expressed most perfectly, in this introduction,

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
Read it all today:

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