Independence Day

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

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

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

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

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

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton


18 responses to “Independence Day

  1. TrueBlueCT

    Sound and fury??

    I’m not sure what this dutiful outpouring is meant to represent, but by all means let’s salute America, and the Stars and Stripes, even as the Bushies have jeopardized the moral standing of our great nation.

    As you enjoy our Nation’s birthday, be sure you don’t get blown up by the terr-ah-ists, (who hate us not for our foreign policy, but for our very freedoms), and make certain not to question where the Bush Administration has taken us, for fear of being labelled an elitist America-hater!

  2. Actually TBCT I think it fits nicely with this Libby mess. Part of what brought the Colonists to the point of Revolution was George III’s own actions including constant abuses of the Justice system. Rereading the Declaration in that context I gain a new understanding about why Presidential Pardons were so hotly debated at the Constitutional convention.

  3. For all the individual rights enumerated in the Declaration and the Constitution, the Founding Fathers saw fit to list but one duty: “to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    The international human rights community might argue that for every right, citizens and governments alike have equivalent duties to each other and to society in general. The right to health care in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, then, imposes a positive obligation on states to provide citizens access to medical care. Some might call it an unfunded mandate.

    I would argue that for every individual right contained in these Enlightenment documents, each citizen lives under incumbent duties to the exercise of this right. Are we obliged to pursue life to its fullest, liberty to its end, and happiness where we can? Have we an obligation to speak out against wrongs? I am not sure if I can say we have an obligation to carry arms (although some would argue that).

    But in order to maintain and uphold and secure these rights for future generations, I think we have responsibilities, and I beg that we consider our duties to self-government, and not just celebrate freedoms in terms of the overutilized language of rights.

    Thanks for posting the words of Mr. Jefferson, Genghis. And thanks to everyone here who obliges themselves to speak.

    Happy Fourth from Dublin!

    Ken Krayeske

  4. Republitarian

    I guess It was a bad week to be a liberal… LOL (hmmm.. you wouldn’t be forgettin’ Clinton’s pardons now would ya?).. and since Bush is in the pardoning mood.. it would be nice if he gave a pardon for Ignacio Ramos, Jose Compean, and Genarlow Wilson.

    anyway.. I’d love it if every elected official read those words, as well as our Constitution, and had to explain what they have personally done to uphold those ideals and convictions so deeply held by our founders…Maybe as part of their bid for (re-)election.

    Every family should read the Declaration (in English and verbatim) aloud to their kith and kin at their BBQ’s today and discuss its meaning, as well as how the signers committed treason and jeopardized their lives by signing on.

  5. wtfdnucsailor

    If I had been posting, I would have left the ability to comment off the posting, the Declaration stands alone and no comment is necessary. Reading it is a great reminder of the wisdom of our founding fathers (and mothers in the background). Happy Fourth to all!! Back to the political wars tomorrow.

  6. Silence Dogood

    I’ve been reading this site for awhile and have never posted. I was planning on remaining a reader but after seeing that Genghis posted the Declaration of Independence I wanted to say thank you for putting it on the site. One of the greatest documents in our country’s history and a great reminder of how far we’ve come.

    Yes there is a war going on, some disagree with the direction we are headed as a country, immigration problems, poverty, etc. But that being said, there is absolutely nowhere else on the planet I’d choose to live. We can make of ouselves what ever we want–our career path and success level is determined by us alone. Our higher education system is the best in the world, Wall Street is the financial center of financial centers, the ability to make as much money as we want in any professional endeavor makes us the envy of the world. We can go to the church of our choice, vote for whomever we want, raise our families where we want.

    The fact that certain groups want to destroy us, tear us down and make us bend to their prehistoric ways and that people are dying to sneak into our country to make money says that we are doing some things right. It goes against the very grain of our independent spirit. Instead of questioning why the Declaration was posted–on today of all days–I choose to thank God that he allowed me to be born here. I love my family, my job, my friends, my country–I wish the same for all of you.

    I also hope that everyone will also take a moment to pray for and say thank you for our troops. Our Armed Forces have helped shape this country more than anyone and deserve our thanks and daily prayers. Happy Independence Day everyone!

  7. Amen, SD. Very well said.

  8. “My Country ’tis of Thee,
    Sweet Land of Liberty,
    Of Thee I Sing….”

    Samuel F. Smith 1832
    Thanks GC for posting the Founding Document.

  9. Ichabod Crane

    Al Gore’s son was arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs after deputies pulled him over for speeding, authorities said.

    Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over at about 2:15 a.m., Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.

    The deputies said they smelled marijuana and searched the car, Amormino said. They found less than an ounce of marijuana along with Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, which is used for attention deficit disorder, he said.

    “He does not have a prescription for any of those drugs,” Amormino said.

  10. >> The fact that certain groups want to destroy us, tear us down and make us bend to their prehistoric ways

    Do you mean the fanatics trying to replace the Western tradition of a law based on reason with law based on narrow religious dogma, or the neo-feudalists attempting to turn our democracy into an oligarchy?

    Happy 4th, everyone!

  11. Silence Dogood

    Your choice. They are equally dangerous and should be watched carefully.

  12. Yes… Happy Fourth.

    Nice Name “Brom.” Next I’m going to see someone on here as Baltus Van Tassle.

  13. [quote comment=”14941″]Nice Name “Brom.” [/quote]

    I still want to know what the story behind “Nearly Headless Nick””s moniker.

  14. [quote post=”710″]I still want to know what the story behind “Nearly Headless Nick”‘’s moniker.[/quote]

    Nearly Headless Nick is a character in the Harry Potter book series.

  15. I hope everyone makes it okay through this July 4th holiday. The risk is higher of course. We didn’t get a public service announcement from George Jepsen delivered while wearing kevlar crouched behind a blast shield on the lethal dangers of sparklers.

    We could really use one of those again… the children are at risk…

  16. TrueBlueCT

    [quote comment=”14946″]We could really use one of those again… the children are at risk…[/quote]

    The kids are probably more at risk from the recidivist drunk driver, –and CT GOP chair, –Chris Healy.

    (Will someone please confirm that Bob Ward took Healy’s license.)

    And to those who think I may be heart-less, I still implore, “please Chairman Healy, take the steps necessary to pull your life together…”

  17. HH and TBCT. You guys really just can’t stop can you? It’s cute in a depressing sort of way.

    Like sewer workers arguing over who’s boots smell more like dooky.

    The Declaration of Independance, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are there to remind us of the ideals our nation was founded upon. Reading these documents I often feel a profound sadness for how far we have strayed, and how willing many of us are to trade our freedom for the illusion of control. This is still the greatest nation in the history of mankind though; and these documents remind us not only of our duties to preserve our nations ideals but also as a reminder that freedom isn’t free.

  18. Ichabod Crane

    Tracy, BlueBalls can’t take a HH’s sardonic posts… plus he has a BlackBerry so he’s plugged into the blog 24/7/365 like crack cocaine.

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