The Ideals of the Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence is the most important document in the history of the most influential nation in the modern world – The United States of America. Many other nations and societies that have gained their independence since this declaration was drafted in 1776 have used the four key ideals contained within it as a guide for their own independence. This document did much more than achieve independence for the U. S; it would drastically change the thinking of the entire world.
The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress, states the reasons the British colonies of North America wanted independence in July of 1776. The British colonies wanted independence from Great Britain due to a number of practices that they felt were unfair; high taxes and lack of government representation were the most important. The four key ideals discussed are: equality, unalienable rights, consent of the governed, and the right to alter and abolish government.
While they are all very important to the founding of this country, unalienable rights is the most important because without life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the other three key ideals are not meaningful to the future of this young nation. Equality of men and women is extremely important even in American society in recent times. It is the reason that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his life to make sure that African-Americans would have the very same rights as any other American citizen.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal” (Declaration of Sentiments, Women’s Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, NY, 1848). To me, self-evident means that it should be understood that because God created each human being, each human being should be allowed to have the same opportunities. However, without the same unalienable rights, American citizens are not truly equal.
“That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Sentiments, Women’s Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, NY, 1848). This is the statement also found in the Declaration of Independence itself and is, in my opinion, the thing that makes America the best nation in the world and a nation that other countries model themselves after. Every human being has the right to life – no one should ever have the right to take another person’s life.
God is the only one with that right. Liberty is another word for freedom. No one human being should ever have the right to control the future of another human being or make decisions for another human being. “I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Not its attainment, or its final definition, but its pursuit” (Andrew Sullivan, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”, This I Believe, National Public Radio, July 4, 2005. This means that every person should at least have a chance to make a good life for themselves.
That doesn’t mean that everyone will, but they should at least have to chance to get a quality education and pursue a solid career. This key ideal is the most important because without the right to life, the right to freedom, and the right to live a happy life – the other ideals are not possible. The government exists only for the purpose of protecting the rights of the people, another reason why the unalienable rights ideal is the most important in The Declaration of Independence.
“The most fundamental concept of democracy is the idea that government exists to secure the rights of the people and must be based on the consent of the governed” (“The Consent of the Governed: Essential Principles. ” Democracy Web: Comparative Studies in Freedom). That quote says that the most important idea in democracy is for the government to protect the rights of the people. The final decisions about the rights of the people are made by the people – that’s what makes America so great. Finally, the unalienable rights of the people are not always protected by the government because of corruption in government.
In “Declaration of Tea Party Independence,” it says that the Tea Party “rejects unconstitutional domination by the Government that is supposed to be its servant. This movement has arisen, in large part, because our elected officials have failed us. ” It is important that the American people have the right to alter or abolish government if they feel that it is not protecting the unalienable rights of the people. The Declaration of Independence is the document that created the great nation that we now call the United States of America.
Although all four of the keys ideals are important, the unalienable rights ideal is by far the most important because without life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the other three key ideals would not have meaning. Equality is a right to be protected. Consent of the governed is needed to protect these unalienable rights. Finally, if the people feel that their unalienable rights are not being protected, they can alter or abolish government. Creation of unalienable rights is the key ideal found in the Declaration of Independence.