Thursday, September 21, 2006

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

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.

8 comments:

Helen Wheels said...

What an amazing document. The disconnect between what constitutes "people" is pretty indicative of the thinking of the time, eh? Just something that stood out - "All men are created equal" except the Indian Savages and slaves, obviously...

It is interesting to note that many of the things the document lays out as a case against the King could be against our current madministration, indeed.

Sounds like it's time to "to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their (our) future security" since, indeed, a "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism" has been what the bumbleshrub& co have unleashed on us. After all, it is not only our RIGHT, it is our DUTY.

karena said...

Helen, good point about the American Indians and the slaves.
Diva, thank you for posting this.
Now we need to go up to voters and ask them a series of questions, and when they answer in a King George Madministration way, we need to read from this document. They will think we are liberal nuts, but at the end of the discussion we can reveal that we are in fact reading from the Declaration of Independence.

Tina said...

I don't know... maybe it is just me today (since I am embodying the very warning Dante's Inferno said at the entrance of the gates of Hell that reads "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter") but reading this amazing and beautiful document makes me so sad and sick in my soul. We (America) have achieved such greatness and actually seemed to be a REAL beacon of light to the world........... until we allowed such insane evil take over our nation and have had such an insane evil usurper steal our nation from us.
Tonight on Hardball, Chris Matthews had 2 guests on (a Repub/ a Dem) and the Dem of course was denouncing torture and talked about how careful we have to be b/c things like torture hurt the moral conscience and are ineffectual, and here is the Repub's spew, as was expected: "9/11 changed EVERYTHING. Bush has prevented another 9/11 from happening by using these interrogation techniques (OH REALLY?? PROVE IT!) We can't debate the liberals wanting to protect the rights of these Islamofascists if we're all dead from another attack, blah blah blah." And she says all of this evil spew with a plastered on fake smile on her face.
Chris Matthews sums up everything she has said in this sentence that stopped her dead in her tracks: "So, you support the clearly questionable use of secret renditions and waterboarding, which has been used by fascist regimes, as a viable tactic to fight against people who you claim are Islamofascists?"
Her meek answer? "Well, no."
Matthews cut her off: "But you do. You just told us how much you support it. It, by the way being techiniques that we Americans aren't even allowed to know about b/c our President and his Congress refused to tell us by simply saying it is classified." Matthews was in rare form. He actually made sense and called her on her blatant bullshit.

sumo said...

So much applies...so little time to prove it.

enigma4ever said...

It was beautiful until this Regime decided to use it as Kitty Litter....we need to get out country back...and soon.

karena said...

Off post topic but in response to Tina, we listened to Chris Matthews on Don Imus and he said "You can search Lexis Nexis, google, anything you want and you will find out that I have never supported this BULLSHIT war." I was shocked. Even if it was a lie, we need these talking heads to criticize the hell out of the war and the torture.

DivaJood said...

I posted the Declaration because we have a duty to protest. It is one of our inalienable rights, as outlined in this document. What really powered Nazi Germany was the number of low level bureaucrats who were "simply following orders, doing their job." We cannot, we must not, become that.

enigma4ever said...

We must scream, yell, do what ever we can to be heard- WE THE PEOPLE... I try to send many of my rants to MSM and reps- I don't care wheter they read or not- I send- and I am not very polite any more- the time for that is long gone...