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02.01 Revolutionary Ideas: Assessment
Transcript of 02.01 Revolutionary Ideas: Assessment
By Jonathan Brijmohan
Interpreting the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence
The creation of the Declaration of Independence was brought about because of the colonists infatuation with their separation from King George III over-bearing rule. The colonists were tired of the ridiculous taxes and laws that controlled everything. It was as if the colonists were being treated like a foreign conquered colony, but they were simply the very same English citizens of their homeland in a new foreign land. In 1774, on July 4th, the Continental Congress approved the document of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he wrote the document in three distinctive parts. The first part of the Declaration of Independence was an introduction as wells as the beliefs of the colonists. The following second part of the document, was that of how the colonists felt towards their so-called great king. The second part was based on the grievances of the colonists feelings. The last ad third part of the Declaration of Independence was what the document is called, "Declaration", which original meaning is; the formal announcement of the beginning of a state or condition.
Popular Sovereignty is based around the idea of the power and government that initially comes from the people. The "people", or the nations citizens would give consent and elect government officials to represent them in the government to make sound decisions. The people also have the power to take officials out of office or out of their government position. In free governments, the government is the dog or servant while the people are actually the superiors as they make the decisions to put people in political or governmental positions. The people have the power.
"In free governments, the rulers are the servants, and the people their superiors and sovereigns"
The social contract theory was conjured up because it presumed that the people created government in order to retain and keep their rights safe. Government is only around because initially, people consented to certain officials to rule. In addition to the theory creating government to keep one's rights safe and secure, it also states that in the wake of a government failing or denying the people of their rights, the people can then abolish or get rid of he old government to create a new government.
“Every man having been born free and master of himself, no one else may under any pretext whatever subject him without his consent. To assert that the son of a slave is born a slave is to assert that he is not born a man.”
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Natural and Individual Rights
When one speaks of natural and individual rights, one must speak of the man himself, John Locke. John Locke described the natural rights as, "Life, Liberty, and Estate". These rights will always stand firm and remain in our society. Thomas Jefferson elaborated more on the last point that John Locke stated about "Estate. Jefferson wrote the Declaration, but instead of writing estate he wrote everyone has the right to the "pursuit of happiness". This was the case because having the ability to afford a home or estate is not always the case for some people, it is not always a guarantee.
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.
The Wrap Up
One would say that the Declaration of Independence, in all of it's entirety, isn't upheld the way or to the point that it is described to the people. Today the value that people really have for the Declaration of Independence, even though it was the start to the gain of freedom from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence states that "All men are created equal", this wasn't the case as it only referred to white males that are over the age of 21 and are free. Theoretically if this document was proposed to today's society, many wouldn't support it as it didn't state to abolish slavery and women didn't have many rights if any at all.