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The Declaration of Independence

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Mine Mailian

on 22 November 2016

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Transcript of The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence
4th July
Thomas Jefferson
Equality and natural rights
Does equality really exist in America?
4th July
1776: 13 Colonies in America fought against Britain

Independence of the USA became a democracy

Continental Congress voted in favor of independence in July, 2nd 1776 Adopted by the American Congress in Philadelphia two days later
July 4th: Independence Day

When declaration was signed, the Liberty Bell was rung
most famous symbol of American Independence

Bell reached America; it was cracked and had to be recast
Until 1835, when it cracked again, it was rung every July 4th

Thousand people left their country to go to the USA ''American Dream''

Celebration until nowadays: typical festivities with fireworks, parades and concerts

Thomas Jefferson
Lived from 1743 until 1826 in Virginia, USA

1789: Foreign minister and leader of the Republican party

From 1801 to 1809: third president of the USA prohibition of slave trade

Principal author of the Declaration of Independence

Wrote the first draft of the original document

Finished his work within two weeks
Benjamin Franklin ( 1706 - 1790 ) and John Adams ( 1735 - 1826 ) later made some
minor changes

Paradox: thoughts of natural rights for everybody but owning slaves no rights

For writing natural rights read many important books, discussed ideas about equal rights with delegates

Equality and natural rights
"all men are created equal"
An important phrase from Jefferson
Meaning: birth and position aren't reasons to judge people

This point has made the D. of Independence influential
natural rights to life, liberty and property
every individual has the same rights which can't be taken away from him
Every human being has the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (Streben nach Glück) called human rights
Right of life: even an unborn child has the right of life
Right of liberty: everybody deserves a fair trial. Without one nobody can get a punishment.
Pursuit of happiness: the right to decide what to do with his life to be happy (where and how to live) basis of the individualism of the Americans

: Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizen in France adopted the principles of Jefferson’s document

• 18th and 19th
centuries the declaration of independence influenced the ideology of many people in Europe and Latin America (political system)

• Germany’s Basic Law dealt also with this topic after the Wold War II

Importance (1)
Show the grievances England was trying to control the USA
It is the ‘’first declaration of human rights’’ ‘’cornerstone of modern democracies’’
Role model for other countries who were experiencing things similar to what the colonists were suffering from with England

: human rights general norm
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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.”? So the Declaration of Independence was a way of telling the colonists that they were entitled to certain things and that the actions England was taking was proof enough that England did not believe everybody was created equal or that they have the right to be happy.
( Jefferson)

Importance (2)
How was the Declaration of Independence celebrated ?
Who exactly is Thomas Jefferson who wrote the Declaration of Independence ?
How the Declaration of Independence influenced the ideology of the Americans?

 Why is the Declaration of Independence so important until today in our time ?

( 28.08.2014; 08:55 )
- http://www.usacitylink.com/usa/independence-day/
( 29.08.2014; 10:37 )

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th ( 30.09.2014; 12:05 )

http://www.amerikanische-praesidenten.de/jefferson_thomas.shtml ( 03.09.2014; 08:27 )

http://classroom.monticello.org/kids/resources/profile/6/Jefferson-and-the-Declaration-of-Independence/ ( 03.09.2014; 09:13 )

Importance (3)
Does equality really exist in America ?

Although the message of the declaration of independence is equality. There are some points which showed the opposite in the reality. For example:

discrimination of peoples because of their race/sex/age
black people were excluded
most of the signatories were white males and owned black slaves
minority groups --> fringe of the society
Full transcript