Critical Analysis of the Declaration of Independence

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, Civil and political rights Pages: 2 (649 words) Published: February 14, 2011
According to Thomas Jefferson, “all tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”. On July 4, 1776, our founding fathers took steps to rid the United States of the tyranny of King George the III of England. They would no longer remain silent. The document that declared the independence of this new country is the Declaration of Independence. The first section of the Declaration of Independence includes some of the worlds most quoted words. The introduction serves to declare the reasons the colonists want to separate themselves from England. The second paragraph contains the statement that gives us the entire philosophy of this declaration. It states that “all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. Governments are created to secure certain unalienable rights that were give to all mankind by God. However, while the founding fathers believed that God should play an important role in government; they did not go into who or what that God is. The choice of God should be left up to the individual citizen and cannot be taken away by the government. If the government attempts to take away these rights, the citizens have cause to rise up and overthrow that government. This thought was revolutionary even though John Locke had stated it previously in his Two Treatises of Government when he said, “under natural law, all people have the right to life, liberty and estate”. He went on to say that “the people could instigate a revolution against the government when it acted against the interests of the citizens”. This is called the social contract theory. It was believed that the people actually had the obligation to revolt in the event of tyranny. England was attempting to take away these basic God given rights. Their attempts at tyranny gave the colonists justification for wanting to separate from England. Jefferson and his constituents used...
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