The Declaration

Deborah Venable



I know there are not many readers of this website who have actually read my book, “Professional Parenting – Raising the Hope For America’s Future” because I have not done an adequate job of marketing, so I decided to share a portion of one chapter of that book here during another Independence Day celebration.  There are those saying that Americans have nothing to celebrate on this Fourth of July, and that we should just be quiet and feel shame for what our country has become. 




We have much to be proud of and to continue to fight for!  God Bless all who continue to celebrate this Independence Day!


Excerpt from Professional Parenting – Raising the Hope For America’s Future, Chapter 15, “Education and History”: 


From the beginning of America


The following contains excerpts from, “The Annals of America, Volume 2”, published by Encyclopedia Britannica.  From all other research, this seems to be a true and accurate accounting of the steps taken to prepare and adopt the Declaration of Independence:


On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, representing the Virginia delegates to the Continental Congress, moved that, “these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent States, 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.”  John Adams of Massachusetts seconded this motion, but action on it was deferred until July 1, and the resolution was passed on the following day.  Meanwhile a committee, (appointed June 11), composed of the delegates Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were preparing a declaration in line with Lee’s resolution. 


Jefferson prepared the draft, using “neither book nor pamphlet,” he would say later.  Adams and Franklin made a number of minor changes in Jefferson’s draft before it was submitted to Congress.  On July 4, Congress made a number of additional small alterations, deleted several sections, (including one condemning black slavery), incorporated Lee’s resolution, and issued the completed work as the Declaration of Independence.  (It is interesting to note here, that on the issue of slavery, the omission of the condemnation appeased Northern colonies as well as the Southern ones.  For, although few of the Northerners owned slaves themselves, they were by far the greatest suppliers of slaves to the Southern colonies.)  The conscience of these men, however, was duly noted and survived the journals of time, evolving to the eventual condemnation of the wrong they knew to exist in the practice of slavery.


The document was adopted by unanimous vote of 12 delegates representing all colonies except New York because they were not authorized at the time to do so.  The New York Provincial Congress quickly voted to endorse the Declaration on July 9.  The document was engrossed on parchment in accordance with a resolution passed by Congress on July 19.  On August 2, the 53 members present signed it.  The three absentees signed it subsequently.


Debates leading up to the creation and acceptance of the Declaration were long and hard fought.  The dissidents to freedom held their positions mainly because they thought that America was already free in many ways.  Most had not encountered direct attacks from the enemy, as had their passionate counterparts.  Many simply thought that it wasn’t yet time for such a drastic separation from England, although they knew it would eventually be called for.  They were pessimists in predicting the colonies’ ability to achieve their independence and maintain credibility in the world.  They preferred, instead, to cling to the advantages of being subjects to the well-established and feared British Crown.  Independent responsibility in their minds was subordinate to collective privilege of a Monarchy.  Mostly they believed that such a government founded on their own independence would eventually fail anyway. 


In the words of the most prominent outspoken dissident, John Dickinson:  “Then an ambitious citizen may arise, seize the reins of power, and annihilate liberty forever; for such is the ordinary career of ill-balanced democracies, they fall into anarchy, and thence under despotism.”


We must understand the gravity of these men’s decision to declare and fight for liberty.  If polling had been available in those Colonial days, the dissidents would have outnumbered the proponents of freedom.  It was a thing that everyone wished for, but few thought possible.  This was a time when the human spirit emerged triumphant in the abilities and faith of heroic individuals. 


The history is there for us to read and to teach our children.  Today’s schools are not doing a good job of it.  The fight for freedom and liberty is ongoing and these men understood that.  Too few of our governmental representatives today believe it.  Too few Americans are willing to sacrifice or pay any price for freedom.  We have become so complacent that we don’t even realize we are throwing it away.  Our Founding Fathers were willing to risk fortune, safety and their lives for our eventual freedoms.  We foolishly trade that precious commodity for the mere promise of safety.


Now, let’s look at that document once again.  I have included the text from the Declaration in this project because it is important to remember from whence we evolved.  Too many of us learned these words grudgingly as children, recalled them reverently as adults, and have forgotten their relevance to the human species, as it now exists on earth.  The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution derived its source of authority from the Declaration of Independence.  Did you know that it also influenced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted by the National Assembly of France in 1789?  It has influenced various peoples of the world fighting for freedom throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  If you’ve never read it before or even if you have, read it again, and share it with your children.  The Founding Fathers labored in the heat of summer, with no air conditioning, under threat of death to secure for us what we should never forget or squander - freedom:


The Declaration of Independence:


“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 compel 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 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 has shown, 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 suffering 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 meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.

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 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 benefits 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 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;

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 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 nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens, taken captive on 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 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.


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.”


Fifty-six men affixed their signatures to this great document.  Each and every one of them knew the risk attached to this act.  Most of these men stood to lose, at the very least, huge fortunes, as well as their lives, and the lives of their families.  They were men of uncommon intellect and bravery.  They represented people who had unwavering faith in them, even though many were uncomfortable with cutting the ties to England.  The common thread that led them all to this final hour of desperation was a burning desire to leave their progeny a legacy of freedom.  Moral integrity ruled the hearts and heads of these great men. 


As many of them went on to write the rules of government into our Constitution, they never lost sight of why their actions were necessary.  Freedom cannot survive in tyranny, and government by its very nature can become tyrannical.  They would not ratify the Constitution without the inclusion of the Bill Of Rights. 


As I’ve stated before, this Bill Of Rights was written to limit the power of government.  These words are the only things that stand between tyranny and freedom.  One of the new “buzz” terms for the Constitution that I keep hearing these days is that it is a “living document.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  People who use this term do so to mislead.  It just sounds so good, but a living document can grow into anything.  This document already has specific and unalterable form.  The men who wrote it knew exactly what they were doing.  Amendments have been added, and that is fine, but we must not try to amend our rights to freedom.  These rights are constantly under attack.  The justifications used mostly have to do with securing our safety, but remember that governments cannot insure individual safety.  The framers of the Constitution knew this and carefully wrote the Bill Of Rights so that individuals would have the power to insure their own safety against their government and all others.  Take away individual rights and you have a tyranny.  It is as simple as that.  The framers were rebounding from recent suffering under such a tyranny.  They were trying to insure that we would never have to experience what they had.


I sincerely hope that parents reading this will take the time to do some research on the history of this country’s beginnings.  Also take some time to read and understand the philosophies of communism.  See if you can find any reason in the world why our country should be tolerant of it.  Then check to see what your children are being taught in school.


End of excerpt.


This is just a part of that one chapter in the book.  You may be surprised to find it contained in a book on parenting, but I came to the conclusion that it definitely belonged in this one.  American children are her greatest natural resource and they are being squandered in much the same way as some of the others.  If they are lucky enough to make it out of their mothers’ wombs alive, into a stable, loving family environment, through an ever-changing and hostile educational experience, and reach adulthood with their minds intact, they deserve to inherit an America that will continue to celebrate all that is great about this unique country.


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