4, 1776 --- --- Thomas Jefferson - Original Author [Editorial
comment in blue]
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
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, that, whenever any Form of
Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation
on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall
seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.
indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed
for light and transient Causes;
and accordingly, all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind is more disposed to
suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the
Forms to which they are accustomed.
when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same
Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their
Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new
Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these
Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their
former Systems of Government.
History of the present King of Great Britain (England,
Scotland & Wales) is a History of repeated Injuries and
Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over
these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
He has refused his
Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
He has forbidden his
Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended
in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended,
he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to
pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless
those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature; a
Right inestimable to them, and formidable to
He has called
together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from
the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them
into Compliance with
He has dissolved
Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly Firmness, his
Invasions on the Rights of the People.
He has refused for a
long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the
Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at
large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all
the Dangers of Invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to
prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose, obstructing the Laws
for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their
Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the
Administration of Justice,
by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges
dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and
Payment of their Salaries.
He has erected a
Multitude of new Offices and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People and eat out their Substance.
He has kept among us,
in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.
He has affected to
render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with
others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and
unacknowledged by our Laws, giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended
quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us.
protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they
should commit on the Inhabitants of these States.
cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World.
imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.
depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury.
transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences.
abolishing the Free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province,
establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so
as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same
absolute Rule into these Colonies:
taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering
fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.
suspending our own Legislatures and declaring themselves invested with Power
to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government
here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our
Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our
He is, at this Time,
transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of
Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and
Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most
barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
He has constrained
our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their
Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall
themselves by their Hands.
He has excited
domestic Insurrections amongst us and has endeavored to bring on the
Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of
Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction of all Ages, Sexes, and Conditions.
every stage of these Oppressions, we have Petitioned for Redress in the most
humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated
Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a
Tyrant, is unfit to be the
Ruler of a free People.
have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them
from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable
Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our
Emigration and Settlement here.
have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured
them by the Ties of our common Kindred, to disavow these Usurpations, which
would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have
been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must,
therefore, acquiesce in
the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the
rest of Mankind, enemies in War, in peace, Friends.
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.
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.
Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress,
The 99 men who signed the Declaration of Independence knew that they were signing their own death sentence should the King of Great Britain win what would most inevitably lead to war. All 99 men were from the new economic elite in Great Britain yet were not part of its aristocracy.
These 99 men were proficient in the literature of the Republic
of Rome. They studied the best-known works of Latin literature, history, and
philosophy, with some Greek works thrown in for the more advanced
students. There was also attention paid to the new thinking coming out of
Scottish universities where there were new attitudes of freedom of religion, of
liberty, of freedom and the proper relationship of government to man.
Because the Founders failed to find a way to address the issue of race-based chattel slavery, less than a century later, the nation they built would fracture into Civil War followed by a long and halting reconstruction, which was very negative, and continues to this day as the biggest threat to this country, according to the FBI, under the umbrella name "White Supremacy". As the demography of this country gets less and less white, a certain segment of society is avidly and aggressively trying to slow it down.
Realize that in 1776, Black Slaves were considered to be less than human and had no rights; in addition, the term "Men" only referred to "White Male Property-Owners". Therefore "All Men are created equal", not only rejected the caste system of England, but was only applicable to white male property-owners in what was to become the United States of America. But by not putting the above in words, it opened the door to other interpretations which in fact is what happened.
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