Sunday, July 04, 2010

July 4, 2010 The Declaration of Independence

July 4, 2010. Independence Day. The 234th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, officially declaring that the thirteen colonies were independent states and no longer a part of the British Empire.

The Revolutionary War ended with the surrender of the British at Yorktown in 1781 and the eventual establishment of the United States of America and adoption of a constitutional form of government.

From the Declaration:

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.

The next section of the Declaration of Independence is the famous preamble, stating the ideals and basic principles of the Declaration. The Preamble also asserts what is known as the "right of revolution"--asserting that people have certain rights and when a government violates these rights, the people have the right to "alter or abolish" that government.

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.

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