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1. When, in the course of human events,
There comes a time in History
2. it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected
them with another,
when the American People must break away from England,
3. 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,
and become a separate nation, equal with other nations, like God planned all along.
4. a decent respect to the opinions of mankind
We care about what the rest of the world thinks,
5. requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
so we’ll tell you why we were forced to declare independence.
1. We hold these truths to be self-evident:
Everyone can see that the following things are true:
2. That all men are created equal;
All people are created with equal rights;
3. that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;
God made them with rights that cannot be taken away;
4. that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
These include Life, Political Freedom, and Economic Freedom.
5. That, to secure these rights,
to make sure we have these rights,
6. governments are instituted among men,
people set up governments to protect these rights.
7. deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;
Governments get their powers from the "O.K." of the people;
8. That, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends,
if a government tries to take away people’s rights,
9. it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.
the people may change or get rid of that government.
10. and to institute new government,
and set up a new government,
11. laying its foundation on such principles,
it should be based on principles,
12. and organizing its powers in such form,
and its power should be organized,
13. as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
so that it protects the safety and happiness of the people.
14. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed
for light and transient causes;
We should be cautious, and if a government has been around for a long time, don’t change it just because of some little thing (or because of something that might change back again in a few years.)
15. and accordingly all experience hath shown
because of this, History has shown
16. that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,
that people will suffer as long as they can,
17. than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
rather than get rid of a government that they’re used to.
18. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations,
But when a long list of bad things happen, and the leaders illegally seize power,
19. pursuing invariably the same object,
and it looks like what they’re after,
20. evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism,
is a plan to put the people under an evil dictatorship,
21. it is their right, it is their duty,
it is the right and duty of the people,
22. to throw off such government,
to get rid of that evil government,
23. and to provide new guards for their future security.
and set up a new government that will protect their rights in the future.
24. Such has been the patience sufferance of these colonies;
The American Colonies have suffered patiently;
25. and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of
but now we must change our old system of government.
26. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and
In the past King George has repeatedly hurt the colonies and illegally seized power.
27. all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these
His plan all along has been to become a dictator over the colonies.
28. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
To prove what we say, here is a list of what he’s done.
3rd paragraph — 29th paragraph(27 injustices of the King)& final paragraph
1. He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public
He has refused to approve necessary colonial laws.
2. 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’s forbidden the governors to approve necessary colonial laws and delayed the passing of other laws.
3. 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.
In some districts he has refused to pass laws unless people gave up their democratic rights.
4. 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 called legislative bodies together hastily and in unusual places (so that they would give in to his demands).
5. He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his
invasions on the rights of the people.
He has dissolved Legislatures for opposing him when he tried to take away our rights.
6. 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 meantime, exposed to all the dangers of invasion from
without and convulsions within.
After closing down our legislatures, he has refused to let us elect a new one and our colony was left unprotected.
7. He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing
the laws for naturalization of foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has tried to keep the colonies from growing by preventing immigration and land ownership by immigrants.
8. He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for
establishing judiciary powers.
He has refused to let us have our own courts.
9. He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the
amount and payment of their salaries.
He decided how long judges should serve and what they should be paid.
10. He has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass
our people and eat out their substance.
He set up new offices and sent a bunch of new officers here and we’ll have to pay them.
11. He has kept among us in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our
He’s kept armies here in peacetime without our consent.
12. He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil
He’s put us under military rule.
13. 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:
He’s tried to rule us by laws that are completely different from our own. Here’s a list of what those laws have done:
14. For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;
Keeping troops in the colonies without our consent and making us house and feed them; (Quartering Act)
15. For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should
commit on the inhabitants of these states;
His soldiers murdered us and weren’t even punished. (Boston Massacre);
16. For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;
cutting off trade (blockade)
17. For imposing taxes on us without our consent;
Taxing without our consent.
18. For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;
took away our right to a trial by jury;
19. For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses;
He made us go to England for a trial based on fake charges;
20. 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 and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;
he did away with Canada’s laws and enlarged Canada’s boundaries. He might try to take away our laws too.
21. For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering,
fundamentally, the forms of our governments;
He took away our charters and changed our form of Government;
22. For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to
legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
The King took away our legislatures and says that he and Parliament have the power to make all laws for us.
23. He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war
The King has given up his right to govern us because he’s waged war against us.
24. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives
of our people.
He’s attacked our coasts, burned our towns, and killed our people.
25. He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works
of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized
He has hired armies of foreign soldiers (Hessians) to fight us and then he’ll rule us like a tyrant.
26. 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.
American citizens, taken prisoner at sea, have been forced to fight against us.
27. He has excited domestic insurrection among us, 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.
He's stirred up quarrels among us and tried to get the Indians to kill all Americans on the frontier.
28. 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
When the King has done something wrong, we asked him to correct it and he only injures us more. A King who acts like a tyrant is not fit to rule us.
29. Nor have we been wanting in our 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 consanquinity. 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’ve asked the people of Great Britain to speak out against what Parliament and the King have been doing to us. They haven’t listened to us either. We’ll just have to figure that if there’s a war, they’ll be our enemies. If there’s peace, they’ll be our friends.
30. 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 the 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.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Freedom of Speech and the Media (Press). Right to Assemble Peaceably and to Petition
the Government. Freedom of Religion –The King collected Taxes and gave part of it to HIS church! Some of the early colonies also had a “State”
Church. The Country of Denmark still takes 1% for it’s State Church. The U.S. Government can’t do that under the 1st Amendment.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The Government cannot take citizen’s guns. (The Militia supplied their own weapons and played an important part in the Revolutionary War. They also used their guns to hunt for food for their families.)
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the
Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
In peacetime, the Government cannot make you keep soldiers in your house. (Remember
the Quartering Act?)
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Government must have a search warrant from a court in order to search your stuff.
(No moreWrits of Assistance where they could search anyplace, anytime, for anything.)
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
a. They can’t hold you without charging you with a crime.
b. Can’t be tried twice for the same crime.
c. Can’t be forced to testify against yourself.
d. Can’t take your life, liberty, or property without a trial.
e. CAN take your property for Public Use, but must pay a fair price.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
If charged with committing a crime - you have the Right to a “speedy” trial by jury, right to see & hear your accuser, right to have a Lawyer, and the right to call your own witnesses.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
In regular lawsuits, you also have a right to a trial by jury. No Court can
re-examine the Facts without following the rules of the law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Bail, to let you go until the trial, must be reasonable. No Excessive fines and
No Cruel and Unusual Punishment. (No Torture.)
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Just in case we forgot to list a Right Of The People, this amendment says that the
People shall have all rights not specifically given to the Government.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
10th AmendmentAgain, Just in case we forgot something, POWERS NOT SPECIFICALLY GIVEN TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, or specifically denied to the states, BELONG TO THE STATES & THE PEOPLE!
1. “Four Score and seven years ago
87 years ago in 1776
(a score is 20 years) x 4 = 80 years plus 7 more years.
(1863 – 87 years = 1776!)
2. our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and other patriots declared our independence from England and started a new nation that began with liberty and the idea that all people are created equal.
3. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
Now we’re in the middle of a Civil War, and it’s testing whether we or any nation that is dedicated to liberty and the equality of human beings, can survive.
4. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
Here we are at Gettysburg.
5. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.
We’ve come to dedicate this battlefield to the brave soldiers who died so that our Nation could survive.
6. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
Dedicating this battlefield is the right thing to do.
7. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground.
But, we cannot make this ground holy or special.
8. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The brave men who fought at Gettysburg have already done that. Nothing we say here today can add or subtract from their sacrifice.
9. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
The world won’t notice or remember what we say here today [boy, was Abe wrong], but it can never forget their sacrifice.
10. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
We need to finish what they started.
11. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain –
Rather than dedicate the battlefield and soldiers graves, we need to dedicate ourselves to the cause for which they died. We’re determined to show that they didn’t die for nothing-
12. that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
So that our country, under God’s protection and with his help, will have even more freedom
[free the slaves] – and that democratic government will not disappear from the earth.
[However, Abe’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is probably the clearest description of a democracy that has ever been given.]
Roselle, Illinois 60172