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We Hold These Truths to Be Self Evident

This version was saved 10 years ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Mr. Hengsterman
on September 20, 2012 at 8:46:11 am

The Evolution of the American Character
The Declaration of Independence


The Declaration of Independence Timeline


June 7 – Richard Henry Lee - –Introduced the resolution: “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”

June 11 – The Committee of Five –(Video Clip)
Benjamin Franklin,  John Adams, Robert R. Livingston,  Roger Sherman –Thomas Jefferson (Chosen to do the actual writing)


The Preamble

Introduction explaining that separation has become necessary to preserve natural law & natural rights (We have unalienable rights) Power  comes from consent of the governed

Doctrine of popular sovereignty

Social contract  (compact theory of government)
Right and duty to rebel (only in extreme situations)


Theory of democratic government - 4 Fundamental Principles:

We have “unalienable rights” including “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”

Government is a Compact (contract) theory of government

Intro Doctrine of popular sovereignty – power comes from the people

Right/duty of people to revolt to “throw off such Government” that is guilty of “a long train of abuses & usurpations”


The List of Greviences (27):

Attack on King George III  listing all the things he has done that have violated their natural rights and rights as Englishmen


Ends with the Actual Declaration are now “Free and Independent States”

This amounts to a formal declaration of war     VOTE on DECLARATION

Immediate Effect: Revolution & establishment of a new nation!!

Long-Term Effects: Committed America to carry out the highest political ideals of the age     Jefferson: “An expression of the American mind.”

The DOI’s message of “equality” has continued to serve as a model for other societies even though America has struggled with the concept itself (racism; sexism; etc.)

Also draws international attention from potential allies Who? •Why?



Men of the Declaration


Subject: Something to Remember this 4th Of July


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the


Declaration of Independence?
>>> Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before
>>> they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their
>>> sons
>>> serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of
>>> the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
>>> They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred
>>> honor. What kind of men were they?
>>> Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were
>>> farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But
>>> they
>>> signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty
>>> would be death if they were captured.
>>> Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships
>>> swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties
>>> to
>>> pay his debts, and died in rags.
>>> Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his
>>> family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his
>>> family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and
>>> poverty
>>> was his reward. Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery,
>>> Hall,
>>> Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the
>>> battle
>>> of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr, noted that the British General Cornwallis
>>> had
>>> taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General
>>> George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died
>>> bankrupt. Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.
>>> The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. John Hart
>>> was
>>> driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled
>>> for
>>> their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more
>>> than
>>> a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead
>>> and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion.
>>> Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Such were the stories and
>>> sacrifices of the American Revolution. These men were not wild-eyed,
>>> rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education.
>>> They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight,
>>> and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with
>>> firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually
>>> pledge
>>> to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
>>> They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books
>>> never
>>> told you a lot about what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't
>>> fight
>>> just the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our
>>> own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but
>>> we
>>> shouldn't.
>>> So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and
>>> silently
>>> thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.
>>> Remember: freedom is never free!
I hope you will show your support by please sending this to as many people as you can. It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.


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