The Declaration of Independence
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Pamphlets are often a single sheet folded into thirds. This creates six panels to display information. You may use this template to plan or create your assignment. You may use images to enhance your work if you wish. Panels Guide
1. Title panel—Your Name, Date, Instructor, and Title. Include a catchy title to grab the reader’s attention. 2. Use this panel to provide a paragraph overview of the purpose and structure of the Declaration of Independence. 3. Use this panel to describe connections between the Declaration of Independence and the first principle, popular sovereignty. Be sure to include a quote from the Declaration of Independence. 4. Use this panel to describe connections between the Declaration of Independence and the second principle, social contract.
Be sure to include a quote from the Declaration of Independence. 5. Use this panel to describe connections between the Declaration of Independence and the third principle, natural and individual rights. Be sure to include a quote from the Declaration of Independence. 6. Use this panel to write one paragraph to explain whether or not you think the Declaration of Independence upholds the political principles Americans value. Would you have supported the Declaration of Independence? Why or why not?
The purpose of the Declaration was to state to the world the crimes of the king and to declare the colonies “free and independent states”. Thomas Jefferson with the help and input of John Adams wrote the Declaration stating the ideas of John Locke. It took him six revisions before it was approved by Congress. The Declaration begins with a short introductory statement called the Preamble that explains the reason for the document, which is to “declare the causes” that have created the need for the colonies to “dissolve the political bands” with England and reinvent itself as an independent nation. The second section begins with a list of “truths” that the persons being represented by the Declaration consider being “self-evident.”
This list sets out rights, or ends, that all people should expect to be granted and states the rights people have when those rights are not honored. The section leads into the next, which is the “long train of abuses and usurpations” that has driven the people to now take action and create a new government for themselves. This is justification of the revolution, explaining to the world all the wrongs that have been committed against the colonies. After listing the “facts” regarding the ways in which the colonies have been treated, the fourth section of the Declaration goes on to detail the ways in which the colonies have responded to these actions, trying to help the Parliament and King understand the error and injustice of their actions, saying there was no lack of “attentions to our British brethren.” The final paragraph summarizes the action being announced.
It states that “the Representatives of the united States of America” 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” Popular sovereignty is government based on the consent of the people. Government established by free choice of the people and is expected to serve the people. Popular sovereignty is the basis of constitutional government in the United States.
The US Constitution clearly establishes government in the name of the people in the preamble. “We the people of the United States do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United states of America.” Use this panel to describe connections between the Declaration of Independence and the second principle, social contract. Be sure to include a quote from the Declaration of Independence. The social contract states in the Declaration of Independence that governments are created for the sole purpose of protecting ones natural rights. All men are born with certain natural rights. Among them are life, liberty, and property. And finally, that people have the right to change their form of government if they believe that it no longer protects their natural rights. “All men are created equal, that this is ‘self evident’, that everyone is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Natural and individual rights indicate that the most basic human law of nature is the preservation of mankind. Individuals have both a right and a duty to preserve their own lives. Individuals should be free to make choices on how they run their own lives as long as they do not interfere with the liberty of others. The sole purpose of government is to secure and to protect the god given inalienable natural rights of the people. The people, however, must obey the laws, so there is some sort of a contract that does exist between the government and its people. If the government persecutes its own people with “a long train of abuses” over an extended period of time, the people have the right to resist that government by altering it or abolishing it, and creating a new political system. “All men are created equal, that this is ‘self evident’, that everyone is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
I would most definitely support the Declaration of Independence because it establishes my rights and my family’s rights as a citizen of the United States of America. I believe that Americans value the political principles; however our current government does not. I believe that we as a society, have sacrificed far too many of our freedoms that the constitution provided us with in the name of false security.
As Thomas Jefferson said “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 to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying it’s foundation on such principles and organizing it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect they’re safety and happiness”.
“The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. .
“Declaration Quotes.” BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. .