The Declaration of Independence

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

The significance of the July Fourth holiday tends to get lost amid travel plans, a short work week and the desperate need for relaxation in our increasingly frenetic world.

Our Founding Fathers also felt a need to be released from tyranny . . . of a different sort. They wrote:

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 . . . .

Just as a wedding is a declaration of the feelings and relationship that two people have developed for and with each other, The Declaration of Independence was a declaration of the political feelings the American Colonies had developed about the system of government they had to endure. They weren’t happy–not by a long shot–and took their lives in their hands when they declared themselves “Free and Independent States” and that “all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.” The rest–and the chain of events that unfolded thereafter–is history.

56 people signed the Declaration of Independence, including two future presidents.

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