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which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honourable qualifications, I behold the surest pledges, that as one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views nor party animositive, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests: So another, that the foundations of our na'
policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of a free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every
satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire ; since there is no truth more thorough's established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness-between duty and advantage-between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanim policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity. Since we ought to be no less persuaded, that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained. And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply perhaps as finally
staked, experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.
Instead of undertaking particular recommendations in which I could be guided by no lights derived from offi*ial opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment in pursuit of the public good: for I assure myself, that whilst you carefally avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an united and effective
or which ought to await the future lessons of experience, a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for the public harmony, will sufficient influence your deliberations on the questione, how far the former can be more impregnably fortified, or the latter be safes and more advantage Pusly promoted. Having thus imparted to you my
as they have been awakened by the occa
asion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the human race, in humble supplication, that since he has been pleased to favour the American people with opportunities for deliberati" in perfect tranquility and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity
a form of government for the security of their union, and the advancement of their happines ; so his divine blessins may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations and the wise
on which the success of this governmen must depend.
and to assume, among
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. In Congress, Philadelphia, July 4, 1776.
See plates 15 and 16. When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,
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 those 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 and 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 repository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his
He has dissolved representative houses repeat edly, for opposing with manly firmness, his inva sions 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 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 and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and senthither swarms of officers, to harass 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 effected 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: