Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 3, 2009

Jefferson’s first draft of the Declaration

Filed under: Legal Issues,Strategy — by Philip J. Palin on July 3, 2009

trumbull_compressed  Committee of Five presents Declaration to the Second Continental Congress

A Declaration of the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a people to advance from that subordination in which they have hitherto remained, & to assume among the powers of the earth the equal & independant station to which the laws of nature & 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 change.

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independant, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government, laying it’s foundation on such principles & organising it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness. prudence indeed will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light & 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 & usurpations, begun at a distinguished period, & pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to subject them to arbitrary power, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government & to provide new guards for their future security…

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The complete first draft is available from the Library of Congress.

The final draft of the Declaration of Independence is available from the National Archives.

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2 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 3, 2009 @ 8:32 am

Ah~! The Declaration!Final version an improvement IMO!
Was it just the rationale for Independence from Great Britain or was it more? I believe it was the latter! It provides a guidepost for the evolution of humanity into a juster form of government. Too bad US has stopped such evolution. Let’s have another Constitutional convention? The Great Compromise is killing our Democracy (Republic)! Small STATES should not get equal Senate Representation.

Comment by mdeals

July 4, 2009 @ 12:55 am

About human event it became necessary for a people to advance from that subordination and assume the power of earth and the equal & independent station.

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