Make your own free website on Tripod.com

The Declaration of

Independence

Click OnTheLinks Below

   
Back to Main Page
Post Officers
Up-Coming Events
Post Canteen
Join Us !!
Help Us !!
Post Pictures
WWII & Saipan
Saipan Today
Important Vet Links
Sign Our Guest Book
Email Us
National VFW HDQS
VFW National Home
History OF The VFW
Mission of theVFW

THE DOCUMENTS THAT MADE AMERICA

The Declaration
The Constitution

READ ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE

Buddy Poppies Story
Poppies Poem
The Cross of Malta
The Ragged Flag

WEBMASTERS PAGES

Vietnam My War
The Wall

Gettysburg Address

 

In Congress, July 4, 1776,

The Unanimous Declaration of the 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 inalienable* 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 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 a 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 or transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown, 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 meantime, exposed to all the danger of invasion from without, and convultions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose, obstructing the laws of naturalization of foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migration 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 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 time 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 offenses:

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, fundamentally, the powers of our government:

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 complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun, with circumstances of cruelty and 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 endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is 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 attention to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts made 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 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 the 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.

The forgoing Declaration was, by order of Congress, engrossed, and signed by the following members:

John Hancock

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

 William Whipple
Matthew Thornton

 

 

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

 William Ellery

 

 

Massachusetts Bay

Samuel Adams 

John Adams
Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

 

Connecticut

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

 

Pennsylvania

Robert Morris -- Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin -- John Morton
George Clymer

James Smith
George Taylor

 James Wilson
George Ross

 

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

 George Read
Thomas M'Kean

 

 

 

 

 

Maryland

Samuel Chase

 William Paca
Thomas Stone

 Charles Carroll, of Carrollton

 

 

 

 

     

Virginia

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

 

 

 

Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall
George Walton

 

 
     

Resolved, That copies of the Declaration be sent to the several assemblies, conventions, and committees, or councils of safety, and to the several commanding officers of the Continental Troops; that it be proclaimed in each of the United States, and at the head of the army.