Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Declaration of Independance

Have you ever taken a moment to read our country’s Declaration of Independence? Great words put together by great men, and more than apropos to our current situation. If more Americans were familiar with their own history and less interested in Jon and Kate’s divorce drama, they would know and understand that our forefathers have left us an option for change in America that to this point has gone unused. Here it is folks, with a few comments from myself for clarity:

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 framers are explaining why they are taking such a drastic and dangerous step towards independence. They are not just usurping the rule of the King of England, but eschewing the entire population of Great Britian. They are drawing a line and saying to the world; “Yes, we have sprung from the same lineage as the people of Britian, however, we have changed, and to allow us to continue to grow as a people, we must sever the ties that bind us to that Empire.” This being such a huge step, they will now explain why they are taking it.

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

The framers now state that it should be obvious (self-evident) to everyone that we (Americans) are the equal of any group of citizens in the world,a nd furthermore, we have some rights, God given, that no one should be able to take away from us. Those are the right not to be killed arbitrarily by a foreign power, the right to our freedom, both as individuals and as a country, and the right to live our lives in a way that brings us happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

Because we have, and need to retain these rights, we form governments. These governments function and rule because we, the people, consent to be governed by the. It is a symbiotic relationship, but the framers are clear to show that a government that does not serve the will of the people is, in fact, no government at all.

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.

They go on to say that when a government no longer meets is simple charter to protect life, preserve liberty and allow the pursuit of happiness the people have the right to get rid of it, and to form a new government, based on the form that they see most fit. A simple reminder to both Kings and politicians that nothing they do is above censure, and that if they choose to no longer serve the will of the people, they can, and should be replaced.

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.

The framers remind us that changing governments is not a decision to be taken lightly. In fact, they tell us a well known truth; man is more likely to continue to suffer evil than to take the risk of change.

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.

However, every group has it’s breaking point. And when man has suffered long enough, he can, AND SHOULD, throw off the yoke of oppression and build something new. They remind us that not only is this our right, it is, in fact, our duty.

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.

Now, they will lay out the case against the King of England:

— 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.

Wow, King George was quite a tool.

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.

They want to remind us again that they do not take sedition and mutiny lightly. The framers wanted to world to know that they tried their best to affect a change without these drastic measure, but their attempts were heartily rebuffed.

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.

This section is an indictment of the British government as well as the King. The framers wanted everyone to know that they held no personal grudge against the British people, but because of their continued support of a despotic tyrant, they were just as culpable as the King himself. They do extend an olive branch here and remind Britian that once the war is over, we have such common bonds that assuredly we will remain 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.

And that’s it. This final section states the obvious, in an offcial manner. We are now agreed that the ties that bind are severed. We are our own country. Now it is official policy; we shall all surely “hang together” if we fail in our endeavors.

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