Although a day late I reproduce my essay on Independence Day. It seems particularly appropriate this year because of the recent vote of the English people to sever their ties with the European Union.If we look carefully at our Declaration of Independence, we will see that many of the grievances that the American colonists complained about in 1776 still exist today. Governments everywhere seem to be getting further and further away from the governed.
“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.”
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.
•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 operations till his assent should be obtained;•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,…•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 of the rights of the people.•He has refused for a longtime, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected…•He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
•He has made the 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 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 troops among us:•For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment•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 neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example…for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies.
•And has endeavored 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.
•“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.” ###