IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dave Hahn, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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    [SIZE= larger]Happy Independence Day Everyone! [/SIZE] /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif

    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 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 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 benefit 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 British 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.

    — John Hancock

    New Hampshire:

    Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

    Massachusetts:

    John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

    Rhode Island:

    Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

    Connecticut:

    Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

    New York:

    William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

    New Jersey:

    Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

    Pennsylvania:

    Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

    Delaware:

    Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

    Maryland:

    Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

    Virginia:

    George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

    North Carolina:

    William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

    South Carolina:

    Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

    Georgia:

    Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Dave: That is one of the best posts I have ever read. /img/vbsmilies/htf/wink.gif
    Thanks! /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Thomas Jefferson's lawyers just called. He's suing for copyright infringement. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    What...Jefferson can't represent himself?!? /img/vbsmilies/htf/confused.gif
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Jefferson stole both the ideas and the phraseology from the British classical liberals, e.g. Edmund Burke. He's in no condition to complain about IP theft: both figuratively and literally.
     
  6. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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    Thanks Mike!

    I try to remember to post this each year, but active brain cells seem to be at a premium these days.

    I think it is always a good thing to remember that, "We stand on the shoulders of giants."
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Maybe he'll be using the law firm of Cruelty & Perfidy.
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Congratulations, people of those independent States!

    Especially in the year we commemorate the common Dutch/American beginnings of a city on Manhattan, which started exactly 400 years ago by a (hired) man named Hudson.

    Oh, and Thomas Jefferson borrowed ideas and phrasing from the Dutch too, Dennis, lots of it, actually, although I won't argue extensively about it here.


    Cees
     
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Cees,
    You won't get an argument from me on that thesis. In fact I even recommended this book to you once which posits that the Dutch were the "beta" version of the British Empire.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    The Declaration [of Independence] was in the main a restatement of the principles which had animated the Whig struggle against the later Stuarts and the English Revolution of 1688, and it now became the symbol and rallying centre of the Patriot cause. Its immediate result was to increase the number of Loyalists, frightened by this splendid defiance. But the purpose of the colonies was proclaimed. The waverers were forced to a decision. There was now no turning back.

    - Winston L. S. Churchill
     
  11. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I certainly remembered that, Dennis.
    (Just couldn't resist!)
    So I bought the book and read it with great pleasure.
    Cees
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Hey, where's the typo? Or did Dave run spell-check first?
     
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  14. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    [​IMG]Happy Independence Day!!
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    A few months ago I stood in the room where this document was signed. Historic Philadelphia is a really nice place to visit for those who are moved by or interested in history of the USA. I get a chill whenever I go visit the real liberty bell.
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Cool, Philip.

    I will definitely be doing that someday. Philly is way too close to where I live for me not to find my way to Independence Hall. I get shivers thinking about it.
     
  17. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    The 4th of July is a good day to go fishin'.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    When our land is illumined with Liberty's smile,
    If a foe from within strikes a blow at her glory,
    Down, down, with the traitor who dares to defile,
    The flag of the stars, and the page of her story!
    [​IMG]
    By the millions unchained, who their birthrights have gained,
    We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained,
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave,
    While the land that is free is the home of the brave.

    - Oliver Wendel Holmes
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    One could argue that Jefferson's use of both the ideas and phraseology of British political ideology was very deliberate: he was, in effect, saying, "This is the standard to which you hold yourselves, but it is not a standard which you are willing to grant us." I don't think it's a coincidence that Jefferson used British ideals as a justification for rebellion against British rule.
    I had a fantastic Fourth of July. How about all of you?
     
  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I watched me a little 1776...along with a number of other activities.
    This quote is always timely...but even more so given the current situation in the New York State Senate:
     

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