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Monday, July 03, 2006

Here's What We're Celebrating Tomorrow

Declaration of Independence

[Adopted in Congress 4 July 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 to 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 shown 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 meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration 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 legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to 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 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 benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring 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 in 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, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of 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 endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is 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 attention 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. 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 the 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 levey 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.


PEA said...

I went to Philadelphia 3 years friend Carol and I drove there and also went on to Atlantic City...anyway, while in Philly we went to visit the Liberty Bell and also Independence Hall. I read the Declaration of Independence while there and it was then that I truly understood what America stood for. Happy 4th of July my friend...hope you have a good day!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'd only be more impressed if you'd typed it from memory. :) You didn't did you?

Have a great holiday.

Oh--love the new banner!

Gina said...

Happy 4th of July! : )

Ingrid said...

If only someone would send a copy to the White House!
happy 4th tomorrow!

madcapmum said...

Happy 4th! I hope this is a better, freer year for the U.S. than it's seen in a long time.

jw said...

Ann, thank you so much for publishing the Declaration of Independence. It was a wonderful re-read. What a wonderful reminder of our heritage.

Ava said...

Happy fourth of July to you!!!!!

Hadn't read the Declaration of Independence since I was in school!


mreddie said...

Great reminder of the reason for the holiday - Happy July 4th to you and those dear to you. ec

Sue said...

I think all Americans should re-read this from time to time. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read it in its entirety since high school American History.
Thanks for this post..
Happy 4th to you and yours, Ann!

granny said...

Buzzflash posted this as a petition in 2003 (?) I remember reading through the names and comments of the signers and how thrilled I was to find some from my own neck of the woods. I contacted the only one I could find- that's desperation for you!

The sentiment still fits, but there is now a visable progressive community in my area!

montchan said...

Thank you!!! It was my first time to actually read it.
And from the looks of it, it sounds like we need to re-declare our independence, and send that idiot back to his village in Texas.

Jacqui said...

Hi Ann, just love the declaration, your country has such a wonderful heritage.
Happy 4th of July and many more,
hugs jacqui.
After my disastorous day I'm too tired to catch up with your posts from when I was away, I'll do it soon,J

Cuppa said...

Happy 4th of July to you. Celebrate in grand and glorious style.

Tammy said...

Thanks so much for posting this...sorry to say I have not read it since Highschool...very good!!!

Alice said...

Wow. I've never read that before.

Happy 4th July!


Granny said...

To anonymous granny

I tried to contact you to respond but you don't have a blogger profile.

My email address is on the sidebar if you want to contact me.

In any event, thanks for the comment.

wolfbaby said...

That recipe sounds good, I better stay away from it LOL.... I am so glad you actually think about what we are celebrating most folks don't know... My kids will probably end up with a lecture for each holiday *poor things*....
Thanks for mentioning the viris.. I bet others have had that problems some time or another it's sweet of you to do that...

OHHH and P.S. You've been tagged for the four things... the list is on my site;)

JBlue said...

In the course of recent human events, I think it's time to dissolve our bonds with the Shrubbies.

Carissa said...

Happy 4th of July!

Tom said...

Ahhh, so well said. Whenever I read documents from some time ago, I'm struck by the beautiful use of the language. The late 1700's almost splits the difference between the "golden age of the English language (King James & Shakespere) and today. In many ways I think we have lost something over the last 200 years not just because of the over use of vulgarity (the last refuge of the unempowered)but in the rush of wanting to move on showing little care as to clarity of thought and what will be left behind.

Mommy off the Record said...

Thanks for reminding us what the fireworks are really about. Happy 4th of July!

Reject the Koolaid said...

Happy 4th of July. Humming Yankee doodle Dandy.

Dem Soldier said...

Hello Ann.

Hope the day went great for U. I also think this should be must read for many Americans. Enjoy the rest of the week.

Missy said...

Like several already pointed out, I don't think I've ever read the Declaration in it's entirety.

We took Anthony to our local "Children's Museum" today and they had an activity where each kid/visitor gets to write a portion of the Declaration. They tell you which part to write, and you add to the written version, then sign your name at the bottom. It was a cool little experience and I'm glad we got to do it.

It is truly hard to believe how timeless that document is. The founders of the United States of America really knew what they were doing. The part that disturbs me the most is the part about how gov't should uphold rights, not take 'em away. It's all about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, folks. We deserve that, as do our neighbors.

Also, I don't mean to babble on too long here but, glad to hear that Ray's doing better! I hope he's out of the hospital soon.

Love and hugs.

Ava said...

Happy 4th! I hope you had some fun today.

cassie said...

Happy 4th of July. And thank you for the comment!

L. said...

All MEN were created equal....but in colonial America, married women belonged to their husbands, and gave up their property and their names. So much for the pursuit of happiness!

Janice said...

Hi Ann,

Happy Fourth of July!

I enjoyed reading the articles of the Consitution. I still have the pre-amble memberized.


smiley said...

Hi Anne,

Here's a happy belated Independance Day to you!

Ann D said...

How nice to meet you via my comments! I love the idea of a rebel Granny. I am getting much more rebellious as I'm getting older (42). It's very fun. :-)