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"The Declaration of Independence Was Also a List of" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2023 8:38 p.m. PST

… Grievances

"For many Americans, the entirety of the Declaration of Independence can be summed up by Thomas Jefferson's stirring preamble: "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 in fact, the main purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to present a compelling case that King George III and the British Parliament had broken their own laws, leaving the American colonists no choice but to cut ties and "throw off" British rule. To accomplish that, Jefferson and the Continental Congress compiled a laundry list of grievances—27 in total—meant to prove to the world that King George was a "tyrant" and a lawbreaker…"

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doc mcb18 Mar 2023 7:32 a.m. PST

It had to be. Revolution is not justified simply because government does something stupid, or even corrupt: given human nature, that will always be happening, and there would be constant revolution and chaos.

What justifies revolution is when a LONG TRAIN OF ABUSES, all TENDING IN THE SAME DIRECTION, EVINCES A DESIGN to deprive the people of their liberties. So it had to be a list, a long list.

Not just grievances.

See, they are DOING IT ON PURPOSE.

Andrew Walters18 Mar 2023 10:29 a.m. PST

It's also a great discussion of the legitimate role of government.

Very busy document, got a lot done.

Schwabian Grenadier18 Mar 2023 11:47 a.m. PST

Well, of course. Nobody is going to vote, or fight for independence merely because of lofty principles.
They need grievances.

doc mcb18 Mar 2023 3:24 p.m. PST

They had BEEN fighting for 15 months before the Declaration.

Andrew, yes.

Calvin Coolidge, on the 150th anniversary:

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

doc mcb18 Mar 2023 3:28 p.m. PST

Coolidge was, of course, referring to Woodrow Wilson, whose Progressivism disdained the Declaration.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2023 3:38 p.m. PST



Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2023 10:48 a.m. PST

Magna Carta was the same…

doc mcb19 Mar 2023 11:14 a.m. PST

Yes, good point.

Legionarius19 Mar 2023 12:18 p.m. PST

The Declaration was also intended as a document to establish international legitimacy with an eye for support from France and Spain. These monarchs would not aid mere rebels. They would only aid an independent monarchy. Without enormous sums of money, material, and manpower from France and Spain, the rebels could not have succeeded.

doc mcb19 Mar 2023 8:46 p.m. PST

The French and Spanish situation was complicated. They were very interested in revenge on Britain, but not much on rights of men nor colonies winning independence. What they DID want was evidence that the Americans were not going to kiss and make up with the Brits, which was a real possibility in 1776. It was what Howe was trying to achieve.

Schwabian Grenadier20 Mar 2023 3:37 p.m. PST

"They had BEEN fighting for 15 months before the Declaration."
Which not everybody was on board with.
They had to convince people that they did indeed have a reason to fight, when it didn't involve them directly.
Much like today and the news. One can broadcast (depending on the politics of that channel) reasoned arguments about politics. The arcana of the 4th and 14th Amendments. One can argue about the 9th and 10th.
But show them people being abused by the Government, and that's a grievance. Not theoretical. "You could be next!"

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2023 3:51 p.m. PST



Bill N20 Mar 2023 4:34 p.m. PST

Well Woodrow Wilson did say "(The Declaration of Independence) was a vital piece of practical business, not a piece of rhetoric; and if you will pass beyond those preliminary passages which we are accustomed to quote about the rights of men and read into the heart of the document you will see that it is very express and detailed, that it consists of a series of definite specifications concerning actual public business of the day."

doc mcb21 Mar 2023 1:37 p.m. PST

The grievances were specific to time and place. We know that, of course they had to be. The principles are eternal. And the Progressives hated being bound by them, and by the Constitution and BofR.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2023 4:48 a.m. PST

And the Progressives hated being bound by them, and by the Constitution and BofR.

How so?

And in US history, there are two different 'Progressives.' First, those with a capital 'P' are from Teddy Roosevelt's day, and the lower case 'p' are current.

Those who now dislike or want to change or abolish the Constitution are the so-called conservatives.



Bill N23 Mar 2023 9:20 a.m. PST

Thank goodness for men like Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams and John Marshall. Oh wait. They were guilty of it too doc. The ink was hardly dry on the documents ratifying the Constitution when those coming into power began to twist it to support their own agenda.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2023 10:59 a.m. PST

What so-called conservatives don't understand (among many things) is that the Founders were the liberals of their day.

The Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, were hardly 'conservative' documents.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2023 3:44 p.m. PST



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