The Declaration of Independence

I do this every Fourth of July, because more people need to know what the Declaration says–it’s short, sweet, and important. In 1776, Ben Franklin says to John Adams, “No colony has ever broken from the parent stem in the history of the world.”

Guys, it was crazy. It was—revolutionary.

 

Happy Fourth of July! May I suggest reading the Declaration of Independence? @emily_m_deardo

“The Rocket”, Edward Middleton Manigault, 1909

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen 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 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 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 mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
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.
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 salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
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 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 benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
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:
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 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 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.
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 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.

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 attentions to our Brittish 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 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.

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Seven Quick Takes Friday No. 39

7_quick_takes_sm1

I.

I’m going to my first Diocesan Catholic Women’s Conference tomorrow! I am crazy excited to hear the wonderful speakers and hang out with great ladies. 🙂 I’ll have a recap here.

II.

The conference is well-timed, because Lent is coming….it’s coming…have you thought about it? Well if you haven’t:

* Read this.

*My “seven posts in seven days”, which starts tomorrow, is all about Lent! Lent-y goodness, folks! So get ready. 🙂

III.

I started watching The White Queen miniseries–it’s finally out on DVD and I missed it last summer because I don’t have Starz (I might need to get it before Outlander comes on this summer, though). The series is based on Philippa Gregory’s Cousins War series, which goes through the Wars of the Roses from the women’s perspective, so our main characters are: Jacquetta Rivers; her daughter, Queen Elizabeth, who married King Edward; Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor (to be Henry VII); Anne Neville, daughter of King Edward’s closest confidant; and Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, also named Elizabeth, who became Henry Tudor’s Queen Elizabeth and is the mother of Henry VIII.

Yeah, that’s a lot of women. I’ve only seen the first episode so far but I love it. I loved the books, too, so that helps. Civil Wars are always complicated (which is what the Wars of the Roses were), especially when they’re long, so this is a great way to make sense of that period of British history without trying to make your own genealogy and battle charts.

If you haven’t read the books, they are: The Lady of the Rivers (Jacquetta/Elizabeth), The White Queen (Elizabeth), The Red Queen (Margaret), The Kingmaker’s Daughter (Anne), The White Princess (Elizabeth Tudor). The last book in the series comes out in August.

IV.

The Olympics are drawing to a close–I’m sad about how the women’s skating turned out, because I don’t think the Russian girl deserved to win the gold over Carolina from Italy, but whatever…worlds are next month so maybe we’ll get on the podium then!

glad the Russians are out in hockey, glad that Jason Brown had a strong skate in the men’s figure skating final (he finished 9th, but he’s only 19, so I’m hoping to see him again in 2018 in South Korea).

V.
Ladies, have you signed up for the Restore Workshop? It’s being done by one of my favorite bloggers/people, Elizabeth Foss, and it promises to be divine! Six weeks of goodness! What a great Lenten project, girls. Check it out here.

VI.

People-it’s WARM. It really is. Snow is melting. There’s grass! and sunshine!

On Wednesday, I did not wear a coat to work. I felt…..subversive. 🙂

VII.

A further weather note: You know it’s been a cold winter when you appreciate being able to take out the trash without it requiring coat, hat, gloves, and boots.

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 36

Outside my window::

It’s hot. Really, really hot. 90 today and 93 tomorrow. And my A/C is broken. I’m trying to imagine that, with my fans, I’m back at Summit, where there was no air conditioning in the guest quarters. Hopefully this will be fixed later today.

Wearing::

A blue flower print Boden dress, with a matching solid camisole under it; black flats.

In the CD player::

Eva Cassidy, Songbird

Reading::

I read a lot last week with my stomach bug (that’s where I was all week): The Princess Bride, Lumen FideiThe Silent Wife, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving (those last two are Duck’s Cottage book club books).

Praying::

For Thomas Peters

For my pregnant friends

For peace in Syria

Around the house::

The usual, and changing the sheets. Of course if the A/C isn’t fixed I’ll just be a puddle on the couch. How did our ancestors survive without A/C? I shudder to think.

From the kitchen::

Heh, all those things I didn’t make last week because my stomach hated me. 🙂 So lemon fusili pasta tonight, one of my favorites.  Again, assuming I have some sort of A/C. But I love this meal so much I might make it and eat it in front of a fan.

Creating::

Almost done with Christmas Scarf No.3, in that gorgeous Quince and Co. yarn. Once that’s done, it’s on to scarf number 4, in peacock, with this yarn. 

Fun link::

I love anything about Colonial Williamsburg, so here’s a story about buckskin breeches, if you’re into that. 🙂

Plans for the week::

Lunch w/ Dad today and tomorrow

Les Miz cast reunion/dinner Tuesday

My brother turns TWENTY-EIGHT on Wednesday! Make it stop!

Sunday Linkage

One of the things I look forward to every Sunday is the Breakfast Links from Two Nerdy Historical Girls.  I found them when I was planning my Williamsburg trip back in 2010, and I have loved them ever since. So I’ll be sharing some of the links I enjoyed here from time to time.

Today’s linkage:

Coffeehouse signage, Colonial Williamsburg

Coffeehouse signage, Colonial Williamsburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the “totally nonbiased!” file

This is probably the worst sentence on Wikipedia:

…Mao is regarded as one of the most important individuals in modern world history.[1] Supporters praise him for modernizing China and building it into a world power, through promoting the status of women, improving education and health care, providing universal housing and raising life expectancy.[2][3] In addition, China’s population almost doubled during the period of Mao’s leadership,[4] from around 550 to over 900 million.[3] As a result, Mao is still officially held in high regard by many Chinese as a great political strategist, military mastermind, and savior of the nation. Maoists furthermore promote his role as a theorist, statesman, poet, and visionary, who has inspired revolutionary movements across the globe.[5] In contrast, critics, including some historians, have labeled him a dictator whose administration oversaw systematic human rights abuses, and whose rule is estimated to have caused the deaths of 40–70 million people through starvation, forced labor and executions, ranking his tenure as the top incidence of democide in human history. 

 

(Bold is mine)
Yes, the man who killed MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, abused their rights, and generally was a horrible person–he may have been a dictator. Just maybe. Starving women definitely helped raise their role in society! And raised life expectancy! I mean, if you provide universal housing and health care, does it matter what else you do? According to this writer–nope!