The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription
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 harrass 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 benefits 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 Brittish 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.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
Happy USA Conception (not Birth) Day!
In reply to this post by Daniel J. Franco
The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787, etc.
Volume I - https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral01elli; https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral01elliuoft
Volume II - https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral02elli; https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral02elliuoft
Volume III - https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral03elli; https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral03elliuoft
Volume IV - https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral04elli; https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral04elliuoft
Volume V - https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral05elli; https://archive.org/details/debatesinseveral05elliuoft
America's Four United Republics - http://www.americasfourrepublics.com/;
Presidents of the United States - http://lawfulpath.com/ref/presidents/presidents.shtml.
The Declaration of Independence; The Articles of Confederation; The Constitution of the United States
The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription
Transcription of the 1789 Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing 12 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution/The U.S. Bill of Rights
The Constitution: Amendments 11-27
In reply to this post by Daniel J. Franco
by MICHAEL PATRICK LEAHY4 Jul 2015431
“Take this Supreme Court decision and shove it.”
A new Rasmussen Poll indicates that a growing number of Americans want state governments to tell the Supreme Court to get out of the business of rewriting laws and telling American citizens how to live their lives.
In a new poll, Rasmussen reported the percentage of Americans who want states to tell the Supreme Court it does not have the power to rewrite the Affordable Care Act or force sovereign states to authorize gay marriages has increased from 24 percent to 33 percent after last week’s Constitution-defying decisions by the court.
A closer look at the poll results indicates that popular sentiment for state defiance of the federal government extends beyond just the Supreme Court’s latest decisions.
“Only 20% [of likely voters] now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty,” the Rasmussen Poll finds. “Sixty percent (60 %) see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead,” it adds.
“Take this regulation and shove it,” and “take this grant and shove it,” are two additional battle cries which appear to resonate with a growing popular sentiment, especially in “flyover country,” those 38 states outside the dozen in which President Obama won more than 56.2 percent of the vote in 2012.
(In descending order of support for Obama, those twelve states are: Hawaii, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, and Maine. Arguably, three additional states where President Obama won between 54 percent and 56.2 percent of the vote in 2012 could be added to this list: Washington, Oregon, and Michigan.)
One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are two Americas—one where the principles of constitutionally limited government and individual liberty are still revered, the other where statism and the trampling of individual rights are on the rise.
The Tea Party movement arose in 2009 to restore those principles of constitutionally-limited government. But despite electoral victories that placed Republicans in control of the House of Representatives in 2010, and the Senate in 2014, it is undeniable that the Republican establishment those elections empowered is instead aligned with the forces of statism.
The majority of the members of the Supreme Court itself are also clearly part of the “elitist” camp of anti-constitutionalists. As Breitbart’s Thomas Williams noted, and Justice Scalia himself pointed out in his scathing dissent in the gay marriage decision, not a single member of the nine member court is of the Protestant faith. Not a single member has graduated from a law school other than Harvard, Yale, or Columbia. Nor has a single member done anything other than practice some version of corporate law with “big law” firms, sit on a federal court, work for the federal government, or work in left-wing academia.
With the entire apparatus of the federal government now aligned against constitutionally limited government, some traditionalists have given themselves over to despair and defeatism. That negative view, however, fails to understand the solution provided to usurpations of power by the central government found within the Constitution itself, with origins in the Declaration of Independence, whose signing on July 4, 1776 we celebrate today.
As Rasmussen Reports noted, “The Declaration of Independence, the foundational document that Americans honor on the Fourth of July, says that governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed, but just 25% believe that to be true of the federal government today.”
Even more significantly, however, the recent Supreme Court decisions are a complete rejection of the concepts of state sovereignty articulated in the 10th amendment, the last element of the Bill of Rights, the promise of whose passage by the First Congress was key to the ratification of the Constitution.
The 10th amendment, ratified along with the other nine amendments of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791, reads as follows:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The concept of popular resistance to the unconstitutional encroachment of the federal government on the rights of individuals and states has been gaining momentum over the past several years.
Conservative radio host Mark Levin, for instance, has advocated on behalf of an Article V Convention of the States to propose new amendments to the Constitution for ratification by the states that would limit federal powers.
Conservative author and intellectual leader Charles Murray has also advocated for a type of civil disobedience to resist unlawful federal regulations through the use of well funded legal challenges to the most egregious of those regulations.
Both concepts have merit, but ultimately lack the power and effective counter-attack available through the simple mechanism offered by the 10th amendment—widespread resistance to federal overreaches by the state governments themselves.
Bolder, constitutionally based resistance at the state level, is a practical and viable remedy, one that already has broad popular support among conservatives.
As Rasmussen Reports noted:
[T]he voters who feel strongest about overriding the federal courts – Republicans and conservatives – are those who traditionally have been the most supportive of the Constitution and separation of powers. During the Obama years, however, these voters have become increasingly suspicious and even hostile toward the federal government.
Fifty percent (50%) of GOP voters now believe states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings, compared to just 22% of Democrats and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Interestingly, this represents a noticeable rise in support among all three groups.
Fifty percent (50%) of conservative voters share this view, but just 27% of moderates and 15% of liberals agree.
Widespread resistance at the state level, however, will require two elements: strong governors and strong state legislatures willing to vigorously assert their 10th amendment rights.
At the local level, we’ve already seen the first indications that a movement may be afoot. In Tennessee, for example, the entire Decatur County Clerk’s Office resigned rather than enforce the recent gay marriage decision announced by the Supreme Court.
Isolated pockets of resistance are springing up around the country.
And yet, even among “The Great 38 States”—flyover country where President Obama either lost or won less than 56.2 percent of the vote in the 2012 election—leadership at the executive level is lacking.
The next electoral battle for the preservation of the constitutional republic will be fought not only for the highest office of the executive branch in 2016—it will also be fought in the gubernatorial races of those “Great 38 States” where the vast majority of voters still believe in America, and still believe in constitutionally limited government.
Freedom of the individual states from the usurpations of the federal government does not mean secession from the constitutional republic. It is, instead, the surest realistic mechanism that remains to preserve the constitutional republic.
By limiting the role of the federal government to the exercise of that very narrow set of specifically “enumerated powers” ascribed to it in the Constitution, state governments can guarantee that our constitutional republic will continue to flourish for generations to come.
The alternative is a constitutional republic in name only, a dystopian oligarchy where words have no meaning, right is wrong, good is bad, truth is deception, and the rule of law is invented anew each day by the ruling class of federal royalty.
As for that dirty dozen of liberal blue states, like California, New York, and Massachusetts? Let them continue on their path of reckless spending and experience the fate of modern Greece.
Meanwhile, the rest of us can continue to choose liberty.
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