Independence Day (part 3 of 4)

Declaration of Independence

Header of the Declaration of Independence

 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.

~Declaration of Independence, third sentence

In this third sentence to the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson expressed a key concept of the Enlightenment thinkers–the consent of the governed. Long throughout history, kings governed according to the concept of divine right of kings. The monarchs claimed authority was granted by God alone; they did not answer to the will of the people. Jefferson and the Founding Fathers proposed that the authority of a ruler is legitimate only when it comes by the consent of the governed. (more…)

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Independence Day (part 2 of 4)

Declaration of Independence

Header of the Declaration of Independence

 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.

~Declaration of Independence, second sentence

This is, without a doubt, the most recognized sentence in the Declaration of Independence. The depth of such a concise, yet powerful statement cannot be overstated. Notice how Jefferson asserted that all men are created equal. This is the essence of conservatism. Equality is something that everyone ought to start with, but not necessarily end with. It is analogous to wrestling tournament where anyone is allowed entry. Through a series of rounds where wrestlers compete against each other, winners advance until a champion is crowned. This is what our founders wanted for our country–a society where people are free to pursue happiness with limited government interference. Liberals, on the other hand, wish to tinker with the rules in a fruitless attempt to garner equal results. Such attempts should be resisted with full force. (more…)

Independence Day (part 1 of 4)

Declaration of Independence

Header of the Declaration of Independence

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.

~Declaration of Independence, 1st sentence

The Declaration of Independence opens with a synopsis of the intent and justification of the declared separation from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration, noted the established relationship with the British crown, but declared that certain events justified the severing of this relationship. (more…)