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."