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That All Men are Created Equal

Updated on December 9, 2010

There have been many instances lately where I have heard people say the Declaration of Independence is not a founding document. How did our populace ever get to this point? I realize that History and Government are no longer taught the way they use to, but we are talking about one of the most important documents in the history of this great nation. Some who want to sound scholarly will say it is only a break from the English government. The Declaration of Independence is so much more than that. To dismiss the Declaration of Independence as a founding document and I hope to expel this preposterous notion in the paragraphs to follow.

The Declaration of Independence not only broke our political ties with Great Britain, but also a statement of political authority, establishing the sovereignty of the people. To deny that the Declaration is not a founding document is to deny the idea that all men are created equal. Those words do not exist in the Constitution. They are exclusive to the Declaration of Independence. Also important to note, the Declaration establishes that government derives its just power from the consent of the governed. James Madison said of the Declaration that it was “the fundamental Act of Union of the States. Abraham Lincoln said of the Declaration, “The assertion that ‘all men are created equal’ was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration, not for that, but for future use.”

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 forms, 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.

By the time the Second Continental Congress met, fighting had already started between the British and the colonies. Establishing an Army was one of the first actions of the Second Continental Congress. The Second Continental Congress suggested in April of 1776 that the colonies establish governments separate from England. On July 4th that year, the colonies declared their independence. On July 19th the modified draft became “the unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America” and was signed by the members of the Second Continental Congress. Our nation was born July 4, 1776. We do not celebrate September 7th, 1787 as the birth of our nation. We did not become the United States of Limbo. We became a nation that day in July of 1776, and the Declaration of Independence established our nation.

These are not debatable theories; these are the facts. The Declaration of Independence is undeniably a Founding Document. To suggest otherwise is to deny our country as it exist today. Many people, because the document mentions God more than once, would suggest that it is not a founding document. We know who these people are. They are those pompous progressives who try to sound so enlightened and scholarly, so full of self-importance. I, for one, take great offense at those who dismiss the founding documents of our great nation. These same people would suggest that I am a harm to our country for my beliefs. Am I the problem, am I a bull-headed conservative that cannot think for his self, because I recognize a founding document of our great nation? I would say anyone that could dismiss our Declaration of Independence could just as easily dismiss our Constitution. So tell me, who is the danger?


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