Declaration Of Independence


Declaration Of Independence Essay, Research Paper

Declaration of Independence

(Adopted 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 bonds 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 form 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


For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases


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 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


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. Wehave 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 orrespondence. 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 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.

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