Declaration of Independence

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, British Empire, Natural law Pages: 2 (421 words) Published: December 3, 2012

The Declaration of Independence, an unanimous Declaration o the thirteen united States of America, signed and agreed by 56 man “mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor”, became one of the most important and influential documents in history. This agreement is at the same time a statement of intent to renounce British rule over the colonies and an argument justifying the intent. The reason behind this declaration of independence was the King of Britain, George III, guilty of specific abuses against the colonies.

The King was interfering with the colonists' right to self-government and a fair judicial system. Acting with Parliament, the King also instituted legislation that affected the colonies without their consent. This legislation levied taxes on the colonists. It also required them to quarter British soldiers, removed their right to trial by jury, and prevented them from trading freely. Additionally, the King and Parliament were guilty of outright destruction of American life and property by their refusal to protect the colonies' borders, their confiscation of American ships at sea, and their intent to hire foreign mercenaries to fight against the colonists. The colonial governments tried to reach a peaceful reconciliation of these differences with Great Britain, but were continually ignored. Colonists who appealed to British citizens were similarly ignored, despite their shared common heritage and their just cause. After many peaceful attempts, the colonists had no choice but to declare independence from Great Britain.

The justification for the colonies to choose to break with England lies in the philosophical position that human beings, commoner and king alike, are first bound by “the laws of nature” and that these natural laws should preempt the traditional notions of sovereign rule by divine right. The natural law theory is predicated on various far-reaching assumptions of...
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