Declaration of Independence


		    In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

		    A   D E C L A R A T I O N

		  By the REPRESENTATIVES of the

	 U N I T E D   S T A T E S   O F   A M E R I C A,

		    In GENERAL CONGRESS assembled.

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 Ursurpations, 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 invasion on the rights of the

     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 meantime exposed
to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions

     He has endeavored 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

     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

     He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither
Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat o5Ubstance.

     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 protection them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for
any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these

     For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

     For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by

     For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended

     For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a
neighboring 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

     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 complete the works of death, desolation and
tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and
perfidity scarcely paralled in the most barbarous ages, and
totally unworthy (of) 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
endeavored 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 Suppressions 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 attention 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 Alliance, 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.

		     J O H N   H A N C O C K

New Hampshire                      Delaware
     Josiah Bartlett,                   Caesar Rodney,
     Wm. Whipple,                       Geo. Read,
     Matthew Thornton.*                 (Tho. M:Kean.)**

Massachusetts-Bay                  Maryland
     Saml. Adams,                       Samuel Chase,
     John Adams,                        Wm. Paca,
     Robt. Treat Paine,                 Thos. Stone,
     Elbridge Gerry.                    Charles Carrol
					     of Carrolton.
Rhode-Island and
Providence, &c.                    Virginia
     Step. Hopkins,                     George Wythe,
     William Ellery.                    Richard Henry Lee,
					Tho. Jefferson,
Connecticut                             Benja. Harrison,
     Roger Sherman,                     Thos. Nelson, jr.,
     Saml. Huntington,                  Francis Lightfoot Lee,
     Wm. Williams,                      Carter Braxton.
     Oliver Wolcott.
New-York                                Wm. Hooper,
     Wm. Floyd,                         Joseph Hewes,
     Phil. Livingston,                  John Penn.
     Frans. Lewis,
     Lewis Morris.                 South-Carolina
					Edward Rutledge,
New-Jersey                              Thos. Heyward, junr.,

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