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When in the Course of Human Events: Our Most Sacred Document

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jsdonze



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 2046
Location: Dog Snogging on the Ouze
When in the Course of Human Events: Our Most Sacred Document  Reply with quote  

I am an historian, an American historian. This Document is the most sacred of our brief history as a nation. I believe every American -- any lover of freedom, actually -- should read this at least once each year, to remember what was done and why it was done. The men who authored and signed these daring words were not perfect. They didn't actually believe "all men are created equal." Yet, I truly believe their hearts were in the right place. It is the spirit of this Document that I love; I can overlook the frail humans who blundered its execution. These brave men signed their own death warrants when they signed this Document. The least we, their descendants, can do is honor their courage and sacrifice by honoring this Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day!


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 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 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 benefit 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 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. 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.

John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, 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 York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

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

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

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton



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-- joni

When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying, now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the latter.

--Mark Twain, Autobiography

Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:10 am   View user's profile Send private message
Sean



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 1442
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That was pretty good. Did you write that? Cool
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Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:46 am   View user's profile Send private message
mllefifi



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Weren't the colonists' problems caused primarily by Parliament, and not the king?

Question
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Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:34 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
jsdonze



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 2046
Location: Dog Snogging on the Ouze
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mllefifi wrote:
Weren't the colonists' problems caused primarily by Parliament, and not the king?

Question


For the most part, yes. However, I believe the king was used as the embodiment, the source, of all the grievances. For more than a decade, appeals had been sent directly to the king, asking that he intervene with Parliament/the P.M. on the colonists' behalf. So, if he refused to help and, in fact, insulted the colonists by suggesting they weren't worthy of a hearing, it was the king, the symbolic final arbiter, who was addressed and rebelled against.

--end of lecture--
Wink
_________________
-- joni

When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying, now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the latter.

--Mark Twain, Autobiography

Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:39 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Lavandula Girl



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
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Plus, historically, one big target with a crown is a lot easier to rail against than a bunch of guys in wigs who go home to the country every other week. I mean, look at our current system. Laughing
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Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:18 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Watching The Wheels



Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 3412
Location: DC
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mllefifi wrote:
Weren't the colonists' problems caused primarily by Parliament, and not the king?

I thought Bostonians were angry their harbor didn't perpetually taste like Earl Grey?
I really don't understand American history.

Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:58 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
jsdonze



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 2046
Location: Dog Snogging on the Ouze
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Watching The Wheels wrote:
mllefifi wrote:
Weren't the colonists' problems caused primarily by Parliament, and not the king?

I thought Bostonians were angry their harbor didn't perpetually taste like Earl Grey?
I really don't understand American history.


Not surprising. I don't believe anyone living in D.C. understands American history. Just sayin'. Rolling Eyes Wink

And, I believe it was PG Tips, not Earl Grey.

--edited to remove punctuation from the tea name. my Brit friend is so very-very and too-too. :::ducking:::
_________________
-- joni

When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying, now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the latter.

--Mark Twain, Autobiography

Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:07 pm   View user's profile Send private message
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
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mllefifi wrote:

Weren't the colonists' problems caused primarily by Parliament, and not the king?

Question


Question Dude, what does P-FUNK have to do with it?
Unless somebody's trying to blame a Clinton again... Razz

Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:28 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ginjg



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
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what a sad state of affairs when even the Declaration of Independence is relegated to the politics section.
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Post Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:19 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
JustAGirl



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When in doubt, consult School House Rock


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Post Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:27 am   View user's profile Send private message
jsdonze



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 2046
Location: Dog Snogging on the Ouze
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Ginjg wrote:
what a sad state of affairs when even the Declaration of Independence is relegated to the politics section.


I simply wasn't certain where to put this, so I picked politics. I kinda flipped a mental coin. Maybe next year, I'll put it in "weird news." Wink
_________________
-- joni

When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying, now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the latter.

--Mark Twain, Autobiography

Post Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:25 pm   View user's profile Send private message
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