Five Brave and Articulate Men

Two hundred thirty one years ago this July 4th, five brave and articulate men had drafted the American Declaration of Independence and presented it to the Continental Congress.

John Quincy Adams

At the signing, of the American Declaration of Independence in July of 1776, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as having stated: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately,” a play on words indicating that failure to stay united and succeed would risk being tried and executed, individually, for treason. The Declaration was drafted by John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut. The full Declaration was reworked somewhat in general session of the Continental Congress. Congress, meeting in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, finished revising Jefferson’s draft statement on July 4, approved it, and sent it to a printer.

Thomas Jefferson

The reasons for demanding independence from England were stated in the Declaration of Independence. They are numbered and presented below exactly as worded in the Declaration. They gave six basic reasons: Suppression of government, Rule by England, Suppression of justice, Economic duress, Military occupation and The Ignorance of England.

The “He” in the Declaration refers to the King of England.

1.) {Suppression of government} He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
2.) {Suppression of government} 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.
3.) {Suppression of government} 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.
4.) {Suppression of government} 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.
5.) {Suppression of government} He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.
6.) {Suppression of government} 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.
7.) {Suppression of government} 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.
8.) {Suppression of justice} He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
9.) {Suppression of justice} He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
10.) {Economic duress} He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
11.) {Military Occupation} He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
12.) {Suppression of justice} He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
13.) {Suppression of government} 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:
14.) {Military Occupation} For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
15.) {Suppression of justice} For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
16.) {Economic duress} For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
17.) {Economic duress} For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
18.) {Suppression of justice} For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
19.) {Suppression of justice} For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
20.) {Suppression of justice} 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
21.) {Suppression of government} For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
22.) {Suppression of government} For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
23.) {Rule by England} He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging war against us.
24.) {Economic duress} He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
25.) {Rule by England} 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.
26.) {Rule by England} 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.
27.) {Rule by England} 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.
28.) {Ignorance } 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.

You might want to consider your present government against the same yardstick that these five used. The yardstick: Dysfunctional government, poor justice, poor economic management, excessive force & spying and ignorance of problems.

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