The Declaration of Independence


This is the actual room in Philadelphia, PA where the Declaration was signed on July 4th 1776


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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. – T. Jefferson Philadelphia 1776

The Declaration of Independence is a document in our history written by Thomas Jefferson that provides a social contract philosophy based on natural rights.  It is not a constitution or form of law but it does give a summary of the beliefs and ideas we still value about democracy today. It discusses the idea of citizens rights as human rights that can’t be taken away from us. We have certain “Inalienable” rights such as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” What did this mean in the 18th century and what does it mean for us today?

In the 18th century, the only people who had these rights were white men who were wealthy. Even today wealth affects political power. These rights are still discussed and debated today in a way that attempts to include all citizens. Ever since people have been on this earth, not everyone has agreed with our inalienable rights that The declaration of independence provides for us. The effect of that brings tension in the air which leads to problems in our society. If everyone learns to compromise there could be a change in the society for the better. I would say that we Americans are spoiled as of today. We end up being angry at our government instead of appreciating what we have.

Before the 1770’s, most of us wouldn’t be able to do half the stuff we are doing today such as women being able to now vote. The government tries its best to make decisions that are best for the people. The thing that we Americans don’t realize is that we have a voice that is very powerful. For example, the right to vote. We can decide who becomes president of USA, but not everyone votes which makes a big impact on who becomes the president at the end of the day. Back in the day, we had kings instead of a democracy. The government of the 18th century would care less what ordinary people had to say.

To finish this essay please try to answer the questions below and complete your thoughts of directly comparing how life is today to the relative lack of rights people in America experienced “before the 1770s”

English: This is a high-resolution image of th...
English: This is a high-resolution image of the United States Declaration of Independence (article (Photo credit: Wikipedia)