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Title: The Declaration of Independence of The United States of America
Author: United States
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Declaration of Independence of The United States of America" ***

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The Declaration of Independence of The United States of America

by Thomas Jefferson

Edition 1, (October 12, 2005)


                        IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to
dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and
to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station
to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent
respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the
causes which impel them to the separation.

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
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.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should
not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all
experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while
evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to
which they are accustomed. But 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.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such
is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems
of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a
history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object
the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this,
let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

      He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary
      for the public good.
      He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and
      pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his
      Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly
      neglected to attend to them.
      He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large
      districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right
      of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them
      and formidable to tyrants only.
      He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
      uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public
      Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with
      his measures.
      He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with
      manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
      He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause
      others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of
      Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their
      exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the
      dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
      He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for
      that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners;
      refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and
      raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
      He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his
      Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
      He has made judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of
      their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
      He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of
      Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.
      He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the
      Consent of our legislatures.
      He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior
      to the Civil Power.
      He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign
      to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his
      Assent to their Acts of pretended legislation:
      For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
      For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any
      Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
      For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
      For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:
      For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
      For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
      For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring
      Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and
      enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and
      fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these
      For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and
      altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
      For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves
      invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
      He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his
      Protection and waging War against us.
      He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and
      destroyed the lives of our people.
      He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries
      to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already
      begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in
      the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a
      civilized nation.
      He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high
      Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners
      of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
      He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has
      endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the
      merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an
      undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the
most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by
repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act
which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.

Nor have We been wanting in attention to our Brittish brethren. We have
warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend
an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the
circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to
their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the
ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would
inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have
been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must,
therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and
hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in
General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world
for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the 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,
and that all political connection between them and the State of Great
Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and
Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace,
contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and
Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of
this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine
Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and
our sacred Honor.

      Button Gwinnett
      Lyman Hall
      George Walton

      William Hooper
      Joseph Hewes
      John Penn

      Edward Rutledge
      Thomas Heyward, Jr.
      Thomas Lunch, Jr.
      Arthur Middleton

      John Hancock

      Samuel Chase
      William Paca
      Thomas Stone
      Charles Carroll of Carrollton

      George Wythe
      Richard Henry Lee
      Thomas Jefferson
      Benjamin Harrison
      Thomas Nelson, Jr.
      Francis Lightfoot Lee
      Carter Braxton

      Robert Morris
      Benjamin Rush
      Benjamin Franklin
      John Morton
      George Clymer
      James Smith
      George Taylor
      James Wilson
      George Ross

      Caesar Rodney
      George Read
      Thomas McKean

      William Floyd
      Philip Livingston
      Francis Lewis
      Lewis Morris

      Richard Stockton
      John Witherspoon
      Francis Hopkinson
      John Hart
      Abraham Clark

      Josiah Bartlett
      William Whipple

      Samuel Adams
      John Adams
      Robert Treat Paine
      Elbridge Gerry

      Stephen Hopkins
      William Ellery

      Roger Sherman
      Samuel Huntington
      William Williams
      Oliver Wolcott

      Matthew Thornton

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