The declaration of independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and was later adopted by the second continental congress and this declaration of independence illustrates the main reasons that pushed the colonies of United Kingdom in North America to seek independence in 1776. This declaration starts with a description of why these colonies decided to depose their ruler and become independent nations. Then it goes ahead describing the rights of a citizen that any government should not violate and asserts that the people of these colonies decided to depose the tyrannical government because of its long history of abuses of human rights. The declaration also documents a list of specific human rights abuses that King George the third is guilty of including interference with the hitherto fair judicial system and institution of legislations that affected the lives of people without seeking their consent. The colonial governments in North America had tried to negotiate with the central government in Britain urging it to respond to the concerns of the people but Britain did not heed to these calls. Therefore, the declaration stated that the new country would be called United States of America and would cut it ties with Great Britain.
Why is the declaration of independence important? It is very important because it has been an inspiration to a wide range of revolutionary efforts worldwide and has also made Americans to understand their values as an independent republic. The preamble of this declaration is very vital because it connects practical politics and philosophical theory by expressing central values of an independent nation and it also inspires other countries to accept the new republic. This introduction is founded on the politics and philosophy of enlightenment period using ideas of thinkers such as Rousseau and Locke, who believed that human beings have a natural predisposition to protect their lives, health, liberty and possessions. Jefferson’s declaration used the philosophy of John Locke and put it in realistic politics.
This introduction is important because it has enabled Americans to understand their rights and the phrase- all men were created equal has become a central law in United States of America, though it has not been explicitly stated in any of the official laws granted by the constitution of United States of America. This document does not have any legal authority in United States of America though it is heavily cited because it is the foundation of equality in United States of America. Whenever any group is agitating for equality in United States of America cites the declaration of independence for support. However, there are some critics who point the use of the world men in the declaration saying that it does not factor in gender equality.
Towards the end of the declaration is the list of abuses, the declaration pays attention to particular incidents that highlight the King’s disregard for liberty and the perils of the division on the issue of independence and the preparations that the United Kingdom was making on the all out war and they were able to convince the moderate voices in the second continental congress to vote for independence because reconciliation was not possible under the circumstances that were prevailing at that time.
The other section of the declaration of independence is the conclusion which clarifies the identity of the new nation. Most of the delegates who were present in the second continental convention believed that the declaration is vital especially because it had an important message to other countries abroad. The conclusion names the new nation as the United States of America and also defines its authority.
The conclusion establishes power of the SCC over issues concerning foreign policy war and peace and the congress can use these powers to run governmental affairs that are connected with a war that has been declared. However, the declaration does not vividly state the responsibility of the states towards each other and describes itself as a union of colonies and each colony is a free and independent state but the problems arises because of the notion that the colonies are united as a whole while it is implied that the states are independent and free. This inconsistency created a debate about the nature of the US government because it was hard to explain whether United States was a loose confederation of states with each state pursuing its own interests or it is a strong nation with a central government with powers stronger than that of separate states. The other issue with the declaration is that it grants the separate states the power to make war and peace but fails to make provisions that explain how the war will be accounted for.
In conclusion, the famous wording of the declaration has for a long time been used to protect the rights of the citizens of United States of America and marginalised sections of the society. The declaration is now considered as a moral standard for which the people of America should strive and Abraham Lincoln used it as the basis of his political philosophy.
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