Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration


Principle 28 The United States has a Manifest Destiny

The United States Has a Manifest Destiny to be an Example and a Blessing to the Entire Human race.

54 Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the anations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the bConstitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.

One of the most important characteristics of the first American settlers was their strong sense of mission.  They had a conviction that they were taking part in the unfolding of a manifest destiny of divine design, which would shower blessings on all of mankind.  Historian John Fiske writes,

"They believed they were doing a wonderful thing.  They felt themselves to be instruments in accomplishing a kind of 'manifest destiny.'  Their exodus [from Europe] was that of a chosen people who were at length to lay the everlasting foundations of God's kingdom upon earth....This steadfast faith in an unseen ruler and guide was to them a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night.  It was of great moral value.  It gave them clearness of purpose and concentration of strength, and contributed towards making them, like the children of Israel, a people of indestructible vitality and aggressive energy."
 It has continued to be a theme, that can be found in many inaugural addresses given by the presidents of the United States.  Just to clarify, this is a mission of a nation, and not about any kind of superiority.

John Adams wrote,

"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth." 

And Alexander Hamilton wrote,

"It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force."  

He also went on to say that if the people of the United States failed in this mission, that is would bring about the "the general misfortune of mankind."

John Adams later said that if the people abandon the freedom that they have gained by the adoption of the Constitution, it would be "treason against the hopes of the world."

The Founders knew that they were taking part in something new, something different from anything else on the face of the earth.  They pursued the more noble course.  Shall we too go forth in such a noble cause? 

D&C 58:27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28 For the power is in them, wherein they are aagents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their breward.
There is no greater cause than the liberty of mankind.  It was in the war in heaven that this mission began, and it is here that it continues.  This nation has and will yet face tough and trying times, but it has a mission to fulfill, and the Lord has decreed that it will be fulfilled.  It is up to us, if we will accept the call to come to our nation’s aid, or if we will deny our responsibility and be cut off.
3 Nephi 21:11 Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause ahim to bring forth unto the bGentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be ccut off from among my people who are of the covenant.
12 And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a alion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
13 Their hand shall be lifted up upon their aadversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off.
14 Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they arepent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy bchariots;
15 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy astrongholds;
16 And I will cut off awitchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers;
17 Thy agraven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands;
18 And I will pluck up thy agroves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities.
19 And it shall come to pass that all alyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.
20 For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that aday whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I bcut off from among my people, O house of Israel;
21 And I will execute avengeance and bfury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and aharden not their hearts, I will bestablish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be cnumbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their dinheritance;
23 And they shall assist my apeople, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the bNew Jerusalem.
24 And then shall athey assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.
25 And then shall the apower of heaven come down among them; and bI also will be in the midst.
26 And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even awhen this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of bthis people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been clost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.
In verse 20, we see the key, we must repent and come unto Christ in order to avoid being cut off as prophesied.  In order for the United States to fulfill her mission, we must each personally fulfill ours, to become sanctified, purified, and having cleansed our inner vessels, so that we may then be filled with the power of God, and be instruments in His hands.  There is no other way.

Principle 27 Debt is Destructive

The Burden of Debt is as destructive to Freedom as Subjugation by Conquest

"We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. . . . If you have paid your debts and have a financial reserve, even though it be small, you and your family will feel more secure and enjoy greater peace in your hearts."
—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances, Feb. 2007, 1 

President N. Eldon Tanner taught: "Those who structure their standard of living to allow a little surplus, control their circumstances. Those who spend a little more than they earn are controlled by their circumstances. They are in bondage” ("Constancy Amid Change," Ensign, Nov. 1979, 81).  

Slavery is the result of either Subjugation by conquest or succumbing to the bondage of debt.   Debt is when you borrow against the future.  You get a present advantage for a future obligation.  Not only do you have to pay your debt back that you borrowed, but interest on top of that as well.

The Founders knew that borrowing can be an honorable procedure in a time of crisis, but they still deplored it just the same.  They looked at it as a temporary handicap that should be alleviated as soon as possible.  They had enough experiences with debt to now the effects that it can have; leading to the corruption of both individuals and nations.

With the individual excessive debt limits the liberty and freedom of the debtor.  It can be depressing.  They can be afraid to change their profession, pass up financial opportunities, which a free man might risk.  Heavy debt taints an individual's happiness.  They carry a perpetual burden every waking hour.  They seem to feel a sense of also being perpetually threatened as they 'ride the razor's edge of potential disaster'.  There is also the looming feeling of waste, like a man that is making payments on a dead horse.  This results from spending money on wants or even needs that have long since past.  It means sleepless nights, a burden of grinding weight on your shoulders that increases with every tick of the clock, and often at usurious rates.

The age of the Founders was a time when debt was recognized for what it really is.  They considered frugality a virtue, and even when an emergency came up and they needed to borrow, they believed in borrowing frugally and paying it back promptly.  

Thomas Jefferson said, "The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pockets to pay for it would make our country one of the happiest on earth.  Experience during the war proved this, and I think every man will remember that, under all the privations it obliged him to submit to during that period, he slept sounder and awoke happier than he can do now."

The Founder felt that the worst kind of debt is that which results from splurge borrowing, going into debt to enjoy temporary luxury of extravagantly living "beyond ones means."  They also knew how this behavior could be a snare to those that are watching others do this.  However, all the illusions of debt-financed prosperity disappear rapidly when it comes time to really pay for them.  The results are often bankruptcy, abject poverty, and even gnawing hunger from the lack of the most basic necessities of life.  Just like the Prodigal son that would have filled his belly with the husks that the pigs ate. (Luke 15:16)

The Founders believed that debt should be abhorred like the plague.  They saw excessive indebtedness as a form of a cultural disease.  Benjamin Franklin said, "Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another the power over your liberty."

The Founders believed that the debts of a nation are no different than the debts of an individual.  The fact that this debt is shared by the whole of the people does not make it less of a burden.  While they knew that in a case like war, the nation may need to borrow, they still believed that the nation should get out of debt as quickly as possible in order to enjoy complete solvency and prosper.  Thomas Jefferson said, "I, however, place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared."

When it comes to passing on the debts of one generation to the next, the Founders had a very clear viewpoint.  The generation that created the debt should pay for it so that the next generation would be truly free politically and economically.  It was their belief that passing their debts onto their children would mean that they were born into bondage or involuntary servitude, that they did not vote for nor subscribe to.  They stated that it would be in the very literal sense taxation without representation and a blatant violation of a fundamental republican principle.  Jefferson considered inherited debt to be immoral.

It is very clear with the nation that we live in today, that we are sending the next generations inheritance, if not two generations or more!  There is no way that the amount of debt that we have can be liquidated.  In addition to this fact, we are also committed to pay for additional future liabilities!  

Can we return to the Founders Formula?  Only if the people awaken to the situation and they determine to go through fiscal withdrawal and kick the habit of splurge spending.  The author, W. Cleon Skousen, of The 5000 Year Leap states that he has a proposal that is in the book entitled "The Healing of the Nation."  While there was the possibility at the time that the author wrote this book, I do have to wonder myself if it is still possible in this day.  His plan avoided a very deep depression, which I think that we are going to head into one no matter what now.  There seems to be no repentance option left, except for the painful one.  We have been told in the scriptures, that if we will not humble ourselves, we will be compelled to be humble, perhaps, that is what it will take for our nation to repent of the excessive debt that we all now find ourselves in.

Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul: A Comparison

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 26

Principle 26

The Core Unit Which Determines the Strength of Any Society is the Family; Therefore, the Government Should Foster and Protect Its Integrity.

"There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.  In Europe almost all of the disturbances of society arise from the irregularities of domestic life.  To despise the natural bonds and legitimate pleasure of home is to contract a taste for excesses, a restlessness of heart, and fluctuating desires.  Agitated by the tumultuous passions that frequently disturb his dwelling, the European is galled by the obedience which the legislative powers of the state exact.  But when the American retires from the turmoil of public life to the bosom of his family, he finds it the image of order and peace.  There his pleasures are simple and natural, his joys are innocent and calm; and as he finds that an orderly life is the surest path to happiness, he accustoms himself to easily moderate his opinions as well as his tastes.  While the European endeavors to forget his domestic troubles be agitating society, the American derives from his own home that love of order which he afterwards carries with him into public affairs." De Tocqueville

The American Founders felt that the legal, moral and social relationships between husband and wife were clearly established by Bible law under what has been described as "differential" equality.  That they each have their specific rights appropriate to their role in life and otherwise share all rights in common.  The role of the man is to 'Protect and Provide" while the woman's is to strengthen the family solidarity in the home and provide a wholesome environment for her husband and children.  In theory, God's law made man first in governing his family, but as between himself and his wife he was merely first among equals.  The Apostle Paul pointed this out in 1 Cor 11:11.

John Locke also pointed out that the mother and father have equal responsibility in rearing the children, he referred to this as 'paternal authority'.  And he gives several Biblical references to this truth; Exodus 20:12, Lev 20:9, Lev. 19:3, Eph 6:1 and stated that this equality was the style of the Old Testament.  The early New England families contributed to the success of our nation.  There are records of men giving women part of the household to manage and that these husbands and wife shared the mutual bond of bringing about the Kingdom of God on Earth. 

Benjamin Franklin emphasized the interdependence of a man and a woman for their mutual happiness.  He states: " Marriage is the proper remedy.  it is the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness." he goes on to say, "It is the man and woman united that make the complete human being.  Separate, she wants his force of body and strength of reason; he, her softness, sensibility. and acute discernment. Together, they are more likely to succeed in the world.  A single man has not nearly the value he would have in that state of union.  He is an incomplete animal.  He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.  If you get a prudent, healthy wife, your industry in your profession, with her good economy, will be fortune sufficient." 

The next logical question is where do children and parents fit into this equation?  Locke stated that the authority of the parents over children is based on natural law:  "arises from that duty which is incumbent on them, to take care of their offspring during the imperfect state of childhood.  To inform the mind, and to govern the actions of their yet ignorant nonage, till reason shall take its place and ease them of that trouble, is what the children want, and the parents are bound to provide."  Locke also goes on to say that once someone has reached mature adulthood, that they should be able to apply the revealed laws of God to their daily life.  He also goes on to affirm that the State must not interfere with legitimate family relations.  And that any action taken by government to debilitate or dislocate the normal trilateral structure of the family is not only a threat to the family involved, but is a menace to the very foundations of society itself.

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 25

Principle 25

"Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship with All Nations-Entangling Alliances with None."
11 And Moroni was a astrong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect bunderstanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;

The scriptures tell us that if all men were like Moroni, that the very gates of hell would tremble and that the devil could not prevail.  These characteristics of Moroni are the very characteristics that can be found in the founding of the United States.  In her philosophy and purpose.  We too can be like Moroni, by gaining a perfect understanding of God's laws and what he would have us do. When it comes to truly loving our neighbors, we should not delight in the shedding of their blood, we should find joy in the liberty and freedom of our country, and we should keep our brethren and sisters from slavery.  There are two main forms of slavery, that can be brought about in a couple different ways.  In this article, I am going to point out the slavery that results from entangling alliances.

In 1939 J. Reuben Clark gave the following speech, "America, multi-raced and multi-nationed, is by tradition, by geography, by citizenry, by natural sympathy, and by material interest, the great neutral nation of the earth.  God so designed it.  Drawn from all races, creeds, and nations, our sympathies run to every oppressed people.  Our feelings engaged on opposite sides of great differences, will in their natural course, if held due and proper restraint, neutralize the one with the other.  Directed in right channels, this great body of feeling for the one side or the other will ripen into sympathy and love for all misguided and misled fellowmen who suffer in any cause, and this sympathy and love will run out to all humanity in its woe.

One of the greatest tragedies of the war (World War II) now starting is that every people now engaged in it have been led into it without their fully knowing just where they are bound.  The people themselves are largely innocent of this slaughter....As the great neutral of the earth, America may play a far greater part in this war...It is our solemn duty to play a better part than we can do by participating in the butchery....

....having in mind our position as the great world neutral, and remembering that the people of these warring nations have been led to this conflict largely unwittingly, and therefore largely blameless, we should announce our unalterable opposition to any plan to starve these innocent peoples involved in this conflict-the women, the children, the sick, the aged and the infirm-and declare that when actual and bonafide mass starvation shall come to any of them, no matter who they are, we shall do all that we properly may do to see that they are furnished with food....

If we shall rebuild our lost moral power and influence by measures such as these which will demonstrate our love for humanity, our justice, our fairmindedness...we shall then be where...we can offer mediation between the two belligerents.

America, the great neutral, will thus become the Peacemaker of the world, which is her manifest destiny if she lives the law of peace."

As the United States emerged onto the world scene, this is the united and fixed position that they took on any alliances with foreign powers.  The only exception was temporary ones if the United States was to come under attack.  This position is known as 'separatism' rather then 'isolationism' that is used to describe this idea in the media today.  The original policies of the United States stand as a testimony that isolation was never the desired approach to international relationships.  They wanted to create good and wholesome relationships with all nations.  They did not want to have any alliances that would make them enemies with another nation in a time of crisis.  This kept the United States market open to all nations, unless those nations became hostile to the U.S.

What the Founders desired was very similar to today's Switzerland.  They are still considered to be successfully neutral from entangling alliances.  They were able to do so throughout two world wars and various European quarrels.  In fact, any nation was welcome to buy, sell, borrow or bank unless they took a hostile position against Switzerland. 

George Washington made a point in mentioning this in his Farewell Address: "Observe good faith and justice towards all nations.  Cultivate peace and harmony with all.  Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it?  It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence."

Having the experiences that Washington had with Great Britain and other nations, it is easy to see why he would know the best way to approach foreign relations would be free of entangling alliances.  I believe he said it best when he said "The nation which indulges toward another habitual hatred or habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.  It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest."

Washington also warned that passionate attachments to some nation because people felt a special kinship or affection toward them produces a variety of evils.  He said that it creates the illusion of a common interest when there is no real common interest that exists.  Also, he goes on to state that it can pull the affectionate nation into wars and quarrels on behalf of the other nation without adequate inducement or justification.  A nation may also fall to the temptation of favoritism, granting to the other nation concessions not granted to other nations, creating jealously, ill will, which can create an atmosphere that the jealous nations feel compelled to retaliate against the nation that is getting special treatment.  This actually can threaten a nation's security, and their best interests.  Washington stated that as a 'free people' we ought to be 'constantly awake' since history proves that foreign influence is one of those 'baneful foes of republican government.'

"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."  Stated Washington.  He also used Europe as an example of what not to become, that it would be unwise to do so.  I believe that these same policies would apply to the entire world if Washington were alive today. 

American separatism did have one aspect that was very distinct from Switzerland, and that is that they accepted the doctrine of "Manifest Destiny".  This placed upon us, the American People, the responsibility of serving as the vanguard nation for the moral and political emancipation of all mankind.  Freedom, education and progress for everyone was a common thought of early American leaders.  The Monroe Doctrine was specifically designed to protect the western hemisphere from the contamination of European Monarchs.  The Founders hoped that eventually Mexico and each of the Latin American countries would eventually follow the United States in becoming free, self-governing people.  Once it has spread through North, Central and South America they hoped it would do just as James Madison said "spread abroad until it had become the heritage of the whole human race."  This policy lasted for the first 125 years of U.S. History.  It was through the financial circles that the United States was pulled into the thick of things world wide.  When World War I erupted, they got their chance.  While we avoided the League of Nations, it set up the foundation to accelerate the involvement of the U.S. in economical and political quarrels.  During World War II the hope among many Americans was that the United States would resist the temptation to get involved.  There were many that spoke out about internationalism including J. Reuben Clark, a former Under-Secretary.  As we look back to the past, it does make me wonder, "How much more prosperous and peaceful of a nation would we have been had we listen to the Founders?"  Can you imagine a nation of Peacemakers rather than the world's great policeman?

The Declaration of Independence: Our American Tradition

The above video I think was done fabulously.  It is a short and fast reminder of our American Tradition, our history, and the truth that we are endowed with inalienable rights by our Creator.  And that there are many rights granted to us, and out of those, being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Which the pursuit of happiness replaced the original phrase property.  Freemen and women have a right to their property, the fruits of their labors.

I am going to include the words of The Declaration of Independence, just in case you happened to come upon this blog, and have never read it.  It is my hope, that more Americans will read the declaration as well as the US Constitution more, so that we may be able to guard our liberty, that many of our ancestors fought, bled, and died for.  Most of us are probably descendants of these great men, and just don't know it yet.  Even if you don't, love liberty, and protect it at all costs.  It's price is high once it is lost.  It has always cost blood, human blood to bring it back.

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 shewn 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 for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations 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 benefit 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 Colonies
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 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 attentions to our British 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 Friends.
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 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.
John Hancock
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
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
North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

The 28 Principles of Liberty| Principle 24

"A Free People will Not Survive Unless They Stay Strong"

A civilized society of free people tend to always go towards prosperity.  It has only been when the federal government has usurped authority and meddled in the free-market economy that this prosperity has become inhibited..
When there is the fruits of prosperity, beautiful cities, flourishing commerce, fruitful farms and thriving industry, it tends to attract the predatory greed of other nations, and even crooked politicians.  By themselves, they may not be considered as much of a threat, but once they are united together, the may present total desolation to a free and prosperous people.  Before the free people know it, their destruction is upon them.  The Founders felt that it was the kind hand of Providence that allowed the United States to come forth as the nation of free people in modern times, and that we would be blessed with freedom and prosperity only as long as we remained virtuous and adequately armed as a nation.

While the Founder's had the goal of peace for this nation, they believed that strength was the means of maintaining it.  Benjamin Franklin said,
Our security lies, I think, in our growing strength, both in numbers and wealth; that creates an increasing ability of assisting this nation in its wars, which will make us more respectable, our friendship more valued, and our enmity feared; thence it will soon be thought proper to treat us not with justice only, but with kindness, and thence we may expect in a few years a total change of measures with regard to us; unless, by neglect of military discipline, we should lose all martial spirit, and our western people become as tame as those eastern dominions of Britain [India], when we may expect the same oppressions; for there is much truth in the Italian saying, "Make yourselves sheep, and the wolves will eat you."
Franklin has a low opinion of those that waved the flag but really did little to defend liberty.  He called for action to back up words.

George Washington is often described as "First in peace, first in war, first in the hearts of  his countrymen."  He fought the Revolutionary War with no Navy of any consequence, no trained professional army, and not outpouring of general support from the states that he was trying to save.  No man wanted peace more then he did.  He said, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means to preserving peace."  He also saw the fallacy of a policy of interdependence with other nations which made our nation only more vulnerable in time of war.  He spoke in the first annual address about the necessity of the people to work towards being independent of others for essentials, and particularly military supplies.  He cautioned the American people about being lured in by politics or world circumstances into a position of complacency.  That vigilance is the price of freedom and if it was not promoted that our future as a nation was in jeopardy.

At the time of Washington's fifth annual address, he could already see the predatory monarchs of Europe wanting to slice up the United States and divide it among them.  He felt that we must take the position that we are at all times ready for war.

Samuel Adams stressed that it is a moral responsibility to preserve our heritage of freedom and the rights that we have been endowed with by the Creator.  That once they had been vouchsafed, that is was wicked and unnatural to allow them to languish by neglect or apathy.  Thus the Founders passed on to their posterity a policy of peace through strength.  They were peace-loving, but not pacifists.  They saw the foundation of security as a bustling, prosperous economy with a high standard of public morality, and they saw the necessity for a level of preparedness which discouraged attack from potential enemies by creating a rate of risk that would be so high that the idea of waging war against this nation would be an obviously unprofitable undertaking.

Thus we point out that this belief was in defense of this nation, on this land, and not by invading other lands.  The Revolutionary War was fought here, not abroad.  It was fought for the basic rights of life, liberty and property.  America does not go aboard seeking for monsters to destroy.  John Quincy Adams said it best,
"America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

The Principles of Liberty| Principle 23

"A Free Society Cannot Survive as a Republic Without a Broad Program of General Education"

The English colonists in America undertook the education of the whole people.  They believed that they must prepare themselves for a most unique and important role in the unfolding of modern world history.  Universal education was considered an indispensable ingredient for this preparation.

The movement for universal education began in New England, in the 1647 the legislature of Massachusetts passed a law requiring every community of 50 families or households to set up a free public grammar school to teach the fundamentals of reading, writing, ciphering, history, geography and Bible study.  In addition to this, every township with 100 families or more was also required to set up a secondary school in advanced studies to prepare boys for attendance at Harvard.  John Adams said that this program was designed to defuse knowledge generally through the entire body of the people.  He Said:
"They made an early provision by law that every town consisting of so many families should always be furnished with a grammar school.  They made it a crime for such a town to be destitute of a grammar schoolmaster for a few months, and subjected it to heavy penalty.  So that the education of all the ranks of people was made the care and expense of the public, in a manner that I believe has been unknown to any other people, ancient or modern.
The Consequences of these establishments we see and feel every day (written in 1765).  A Native of America who cannot read and write is as rare as a comet or an earthquake.  It has been observed that we are all of us lawyers, divines, politicians, and philosophers.   And I have good authorities to say that all candid foreigners who have passed through this country and conversed freely with all sorts of people here will all say that they have never seen so much knowledge and civility among the common people in any part of the world.  Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.  They have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers."
The way that this system was designed made good local school boards very important.  Not only did they choose what textbooks would be used, they also chose which teachers they would issue certificates to.  It was important that the board have a rotation of officers every three years.  And that it was 1/3 that was always being rotated, that way, there were those on the board with experience (2/3 of the board) that could help keep things maintained while the new board members got familiar with the system.

Something that we should note about this time period, is that at this time illiteracy was quite common in Europe among the common people.  France, for example, had over 24 million inhabitants, but only 500,000 could actually read and write.

In the American colonies, the intention of this education system for the children was so that they could grow up to become well informed citizens through their own diligent self-study.  This also explains why the Founders were so well read having had limited formal education.  After learning the fundamentals, they went on to develop knowledge through a self-learning process.

This system of education was so wide spread, that by 1831, when Alexis de Tocqueville came to visit the United States, he was amazed.  He said that to find a person that was ignorant of the doctrines and evidences of his religion, the history of his country, and the leading features of the Constitution was very rare, a phenomenon. 

Education includes Morality and Politics.  Alexis also stated that" instruction that enlightens the understanding is not separated from the moral education.  The American learns to know the laws by participating in the act of legislation; and he takes a lesson in the forms of government from governing.  In the United States, politics are the end and aim of education."

Young children were taught the value of the Constitution, the book was called "Catechism on the Constitution."  Early Americans knew that they had a unique and invaluable invention of political science and they were determined to promote it on all levels of education.

Many Early Americans spoke with great eloquence, and this was due to their extensive education in reading the Bible.  A great example is Abraham Lincoln, whose great speeches cannot be attributed to a college education since he did not have one.  The Founding Fathers felt that the strength of America's moral character came from the studying of the Bible.  "The book teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality to his fellowman. " One need not go very far today to find a school that has eliminated the Bible reading from their curriculum, nor the removal of curriculum for children of the same caliber as "Catechism on the Constitution."  One could also say that this Bible verse says it all,
Hosea 4: 6
6 ¶ My people are destroyed for lack of aknowledge: because thou hast brejected cknowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the dlaw of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Thomas Jefferson Warns of Dangers of National Debt

The Principles of Liberty | Principle 22

"A Free People Should be Governed by Law and Not the Whims of Man"

If mankind are governed by the whims of men they are subjected to every changing inclination of sudden illogical changes of mind, ideas, or actions of those in power.  This is ruler's law at its worst.  In this kind of society, no rights are secure and nothing is dependable; things are in a constant state of flux.  Nothing is fixed nor predictable for the future.

The Founders defined law as a 'rule of action', which was binding on the ruler as it was upon the people.  It was designed to give society a stable frame of reference so the people could feel secure in making plans for the future.  John Locke said:
Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to everyone of that society. and made by the legislative power erected in it.
Under established law, every person's rights and duties are defined.  Such a society gives the people a feeling of liberty, liberty under the law.  The American Founders believed that without the protection of law there can be no liberty.

John Locke also pointed out that unless a society can provide a person with a code of fixed and enforceable laws, he might as well have stayed in the jungle.
To this end it is that men give up all their natural power to the society that they enter into, and the community put the legislative power into such hands as they see fit, with this trust, that they shall be governed by declared laws, or else their peace, quiet, and property will still be at the same uncertainty as it was in the state of Nature.

John Adams also agreed when he said:
No man will contend that a nation can be free that is not governed by fixed laws.  All other government that that of permanent known laws is the government of mere will and pleasure.
 Aristotle said:
Even the best of men in authority are liable to be corrupted by passion.  We may conclude then that the law is reason without passion, and it is therefore preferable to any individual.
 And from this we can see that Aristotle disagreed with his mentor Plato, who believed that that the ideal society should be governed by a few who would rule according to scientific principles and make on the spot decisions and force the people to do what is good for them.  He said that if there was not a man with this scientific knowledge, then law would be required, but it was only the second best thing.

the difference appears to be perspective.  Rather then looking at law as a merely a code of negative restraints and prohibitions, the Founders considered it to be a system of positive rules by which they could be assured of enjoying their rights and the protection of themselves, their families and their property.  John Locke said it best:
The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.  For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom.  For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others, which cannot be when there is no law.
The Founders were sensitive to the fact that people only have confidence in laws that they can understand, as well as feel that it is of relative permanence, which will not be continually changed.  James Madison said this so well:
It will be of little avail to the people that the law are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be revealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow.  Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known and less fixed?
 Thomas Jefferson resigned from the congress in 1776 in order to return to Virginia to make certain that the state laws were rewritten so that when independence had been won, the people would have a model system of legal principles which they could both understand and support.  The complex codes and laws of our day could be similarly improved with such a great housecleaning as Jefferson did for Virginia.  Imagine what James Madison would think of our legislature and senate who pass bills that are so large that they have not read them when they vote on them, that vote on bills that are not yet even written!