Declaration Of Independence


     When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to
dissolve the political bonds 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 form the consent of the governed. That whenever any
form of government becomes destructive to 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 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 dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions
within. 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 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 sent hither 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 legislature. He has affected to render the military independent
of and superior to 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 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 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 in 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, burned 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. Wehave
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
orrespondence. 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.