The Declaration of Independence

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IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

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, –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 effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But 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. The history of the present King of Great Britain 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 tyrants only.

 

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 his measures.

 

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 mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

 

He has endeavoured 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 harrass 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 Legislation:

 

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

 

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

 

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

 

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

 

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

 

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

 

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring 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:

 

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

 

For 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 people.
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 & 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 endeavoured 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.

In 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.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish 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. We 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.

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 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1 Georgia:    Button Gwinnett    Lyman Hall    George Walton

Column 2 North Carolina:    William Hooper    Joseph Hewes    John Penn South Carolina:    Edward Rutledge    Thomas Heyward, Jr.    Thomas Lynch, Jr.    Arthur Middleton

Column 3 Massachusetts: John Hancock Maryland: Samuel Chase William Paca Thomas Stone Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe Richard Henry Lee Thomas Jefferson Benjamin Harrison Thomas Nelson, Jr. Francis Lightfoot Lee Carter Braxton

Column 4 Pennsylvania:    Robert Morris    Benjamin Rush    Benjamin Franklin    John Morton    George Clymer    James Smith    George Taylor    James Wilson    George Ross Delaware:    Caesar Rodney    George Read    Thomas McKean

Column 5 New York:    William Floyd    Philip Livingston    Francis Lewis    Lewis Morris New Jersey:    Richard Stockton    John Witherspoon    Francis Hopkinson    John Hart    Abraham Clark

Column 6 New Hampshire:    Josiah Bartlett    William Whipple Massachusetts:    Samuel Adams    John Adams    Robert Treat Paine    Elbridge Gerry Rhode Island:    Stephen Hopkins    William Ellery Connecticut:    Roger Sherman    Samuel Huntington    William Williams    Oliver Wolcott New Hampshire:    Matthew Thornton

 

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13 Comments

  1. Let me be the first to wish you all a Happy Independence Day.

    Now, all you have to do is get rid of the despots again, but from within your own ranks to regain your true freedom and independence.

    Remember the Alamo 😉

  2. Thanks Don! It has always been my belief that the American Revolution has never ended and continues to this day. That was Lincoln’s belief:

    These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “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.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.

    August 17, 1858

  3. Happy Independence Day!

    “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.”
    .

    Self-evident truths = Objective Truth revealed by God, the Father Almighty
    .

    Created/Creator = We are created by God to know Him, love Him and serve Him.
    .
    .
    Unalienable rights = God-given. Gangs of politicians, commissars, or unelected robed nitwits cannot give or take away our God-given rights.
    .

    Consent of the governed = the majority rules. This is not the progressives’ big-lie, “dictatorship of the majority.” The sUPREME cOURT and President willfully stopped heeding the people at national peril.
    .
    Will you sit silently and allow them to subvert Patrick Henry’s cry to, “Give me socialism or give me death?

    Ne Desit Virtus – the motto of the 187th PIR USArmy.

    .

    .

  4. “We, the people” of this generation are our Founding Fathers’ constitutional posterity. I am and you are George Washington’s constitutional posterity for whom Washington fought the Revolutionary War for freedom from human rights abuse. All future generations are also George Washington’s constitutional posterity as these innocent begotten children are our constitutional posterity. Here we are, all of us, included in “We, the people”. It is timely that we remember and celebrate. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, INDEPENDENCE DAY.

  5. Tyranny is sustained by little more than fear masquerading as duty. One bleeds into the other and, so long as the tyrant makes the cost of casting off the shackles great, and the injury sufficiently isolated that men imagine they can avoid that fate, men will suffer the injury.

    Fortunately, tyranny is a gluttanous beast and is not satisfied with petty indignities. He is rather emboldened by the silent suffering of men.

    Gibson’s “I Will Not Fight” speech from “The Patriot” explores this reality well: https://youtu.be/ntABZkIIBMY

    Happy Independence Day, may we give those who seek to trample our freedom cause to doubt that they can enjoy that meal in peace.

  6. “Happy Independence Day, may we give those who seek to trample our freedom cause to doubt that they can enjoy that meal in peace.”

    Comment of the week Dave! Take ‘er away Sam!

  7. 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.
    *
    I used to think, how plain yet ingenious these words are . Today for the first time, I see them riddled with error:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal: true.
    that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights: false. When God is in the picture, whatever we have from him are gifts and not rights. I have written elsewhere that the fatal error of these United States of America is to frame things in terms of rights vs. non-rights instead of good vs. evil.
    gift of life: true
    gift of liberty: not defined what this means and false. After the sin of Adam, according to Catholic teaching, all men but two are conceived with original sin hence in bondage. The glorious liberty of the children of God [cf. Rm 8:21] is the gift of the Father through his Son Jesus Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit, and it is his wish that all men be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth [cf. 1 Tm 2:4]. It is the Son who truly liberates [cf. Jn 8:36].
    the pursuit of happiness: false. This is neither a right nor a gift. The purpose of man is to do God’s will, to glorify God, to love him and serve him, herein lies his joy here, and his reward of happiness in the hereafter.
    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men: The ruse and lie of the those penning the document.
    deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed: false. All power is from above. [cf. Jn 19:11 & the Fourth Commandment].

  8. “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”
    Rights are gifts from God that no other men may rightfully take away.

    “gift of liberty:”-True insofar as God made no men booted and saddled at birth to ride other men against their will.

    “the pursuit of happiness: true”-What the Church has always taught about free will requires this to be true. Our eternal happiness means that we serve and love God. That great truth does not imply that lesser happinesses, including a loving spouse, kids, friends, should not be a worthy object of pursuit among men.

    “– That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men:”-Almost all governments are man made creations.

    “– deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed:”-When governments do not rest on this basis they become tyrannies.

    But, as we have already said, authority may fail to derive from God for two reasons: either because of the way in which authority has been obtained, or in consequence of the use which is made of it.
    There are two ways in which the first case may occur. Either because of a defect in the person, if he is unworthy; or because of some defect in the way itself by which power was acquired, if, for example, through violence, or simony or some other illegal method. The first defect is not such as to impede the acquisition of legitimate authority; and since authority derives always, from a formal point of view, from God (and it is this which produces the duty of obedience), their subjects are always obliged to obey such superiors, however unworthy they may be. But the second defect prevents the establishment of any just authority: for whoever possesses himself of power by violence does not truly become lord or master. Therefore it is permissible, when occasion offers, for a person to reject such authority; except in the case that it subsequently became legitimate, either through public consent or through the intervention of higher authority.

    With regard to the abuse of authority, this also may come about in two ways. First, when what is ordered by an authority is opposed to the object for which that authority was constituted (if, for example, some sinful action is commanded or one which is contrary to virtue, when it is precisely for the protection and fostering of virtue that authority is instituted). In such a case, not only is there no obligation to obey the authority, but one is obliged to disobey it, as did the holy martyrs who suffered death rather than obey the impious commands of tyrants. Secondly, when those who bear such authority command things which exceed the competence of such authority; as, for example, when a master demands payment from a servant which the latter is not bound to make, and other similar cases. In this instance the subject is free to obey or disobey.

    Saint Thomas Aquinas

    Linked to service, freedom is indeed a great gift of God to this nation. America needs freedom to be herself and to fulfill her mission in the world. At a difficult moment in the history of this country, a great American, Abraham Lincoln, spoke of a special need at that time: “that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom”. A new birth of freedom is repeatedly necessary: freedom to exercise responsibility and generosity, freedom to meet the challenge of serving humanity, the freedom necessary to fulfill human destiny, the freedom to live by truth, to defend it against whatever distorts and manipulates it, the freedom to observe God’s law–which is the supreme standard of all human liberty – the freedom to live as children of God, secure and happy: the freedom to be America in that constitutional democracy which was conceived to be “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.

    Saint John Paul II

  9. @Donald R. McClarey: I put it to you Sir that you have been taken in by the lie that is the United States of America [may explain your recent churning of a great number of articles as you come to grips with this reality].

  10. I put it to you FM that you do not know what the hell you are talking about, as demonstrated by your failure to respond to the points I made, and that if you wish to keep commenting here you will keep your anti-American crap to yourself.

  11. Donald R. McClarey: Compare and contrast the length of your post and my post [why do you need so many words?]. Your post does not require responding to if you’d care to ruminate about my post and have an honest assessment with yourself whether you have been disillusioned or not.

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