04 July 2009

The spirit is alive

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 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..... 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.


These words are not the most-often-cited part of the Declaration, but they are the core of it. The legitimacy of a government comes not from force, not from God, not from royal succession, but from the consent of the people it governs. There would have been little point in establishing the United States as an independent nation if it had been just another monarchy or theocracy. It's the principle that the people determine the government and not vice-versa that was important.

The United States in practice fell far short of its ideals until much later. One-eighth of our people were enslaved until 1865; one-half were disenfranchised until 1920. The fight to preserve and expand freedom in other areas continued, and continues today. But the ideals have always been there, calling us in the right direction.

On these anniversaries, distracted by mall sales and fireworks, we modern Americans too easily neglect to keep those ideals in our thoughts. Yet they have thrived and spread -- even, as we have so recently been reminded, to the far side of the world.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Good post.... yep... it's all still there...I wonder how many at time's think of it and actually embrace it... and realize... vote, write their representative's and so on... but... that's their choice I reckon..... if they dont. I try to utilize everything I can.Heh,heh,heh...I reckon it's my nature. :)

Later Guy........

04 July, 2009 06:52  
Blogger Zardoz said...

Just stopping by to wish you the best on July 4th from your friends and neighbours north of the border!

The intelligence, the foresight and the wisdom that went into the creation of the United States has always amazed me.

Enjoy your July Fourth, you have so much to be proud of!

04 July, 2009 11:00  
Blogger sarah said...

Your opinion was good. You write down from Declaration of Independence, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish government. But this government only wants to power with to press anyone. I'm sure we will reach freedom. But I don't know when. I know, finally we'll beat this government. Thanks a lot for your comment on my blog. Cross your fingers for us.

04 July, 2009 23:26  

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