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Even as late as June 1775, Thomas Jefferson said that he would "rather be in dependence on Great Britain, properly limited, than on any nation on earth, or than on no nation." This is a very fancy way to say it makes no sense for either party to stick to the way that things are, given the current conditions and our feelings towards each other the only sensible thing to do is to break apart. He is saying that governments exist because of the people that they represent and that England has failed the people of the United States and is not acting in their best interests and because of this the people of the United States have the right to change their government.

The unalienable rights guaranteed to all men from the declaration of independence include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In an effort to ensure that these rights remain in the hands of the people the people themselves can create a government to protect these rights. Jefferson believed when the government begins to act in a way that the rights of people are threatened or in some way diminished the people have the right to change their government, to remove the current government and replace it with a new version that will protect their unalienable rights. The words life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can include almost all aspects of American life at the time. What Jefferson is saying is that we will not live our lives on the whim of the King we can’t even see or touch. The aristocracy and Kings of Europe controlled every aspect of the people that they ruled and Jefferson was saying that Americans have the right to create and live their own life with their own form of government.

It is said (in the second paragraph) that “ deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” meaning that the government get their power from the “consent” or permission “of the governed” who is all the people in america.

a. Without the consent of the people King George III imposed taxes
b. Without letting our legislatures know what he was doing, King George III kept a standing army secretly even though we were in a time of peace
c. King George III cut off all communication with parts of the world along with trade with those places
d. King George III deprived us in many cases from a true trial with a jury
e.He has endangered our seas, hurt our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed so many lives of our people

To get away from the king the people decided that they would need “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” They also thought that “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”and that it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another in order to have a better government than when they were ruled by the king.

a. levy war: to be able to start/ to begin a war
b. conclude peace: to bring about the final agreement/ settlement of peace
c. contract alliances: to be able to have law enforced agreement allowing you to aly/have alliances
d. establish commerce: to be able establish trades with other countries
e. and do all other acts that other independent states may do


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Student #1 - I think the colonists were justified in declaring independence from Great Britain because the people seemed to have a lot of conflict with how King George dealt with the decisions he had to make. He did not take into account how the people thought of the situations and just did what was best for him at the time. Without asking the people he cut of trade with other places around the world and imposed taxes and I think this angered the people because they want to have a say in what is going on around them.

Student #2 - I think that the colonist were justified to declare independence from great Britain because of all of the choices the king made either not including the peoples opinions or even suppressing them and taking away their unestablished rights. For example King George lll has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people and has For imposing taxes on us without our Consent.

Student #3 - The automatic response would be yes United States was justified in declaring independence from Great Britain. It almost sounds un-American not to agree. I remember seeing a documentary that told Britain’s side of the story. The United Kingdom was in debt when the revolution came around and England believed that a huge percentage of the debt came from protecting the United States and fighting wars for them. The Americans tax argument went something like this: no taxation without representation. The documentary I saw said that Americans had the lowest tax rate of anyone in England including the UK’s own people living there. Only about one third of Americans living in the colonies were pro-revolution. So many people were against the war in fact that over 100,000 people moved to Canada during or very near the end of the war. You will never find 100% support for war and I’d was not there and had no real dog in the race. I imagine most wars are just like this, justified for some and a political or economic opportunity for others.

Student #4 - I feel that they had the right to start the declaration of independencebecause the people should have the right to start their own government.

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution have a very different tone than the Declaration of Independence. The Bill of Rights lacks any sort of emotion or passion. It is instead a complex set of guidelines to model the new government. It is more like an operators manual for governmental daily use. The amendments are very straightforward guidelines including freedom of speech and press, the right to bear arms, no quartered soldiers in peace time, the right not to be searched without giving consent, the right not to incriminate yourself, the right to a speedy trial, double jeopardy, no excessive bail or unusual punishment, the right to be free to the extent that you do not infringe on another’s freedom, and powers not given to the U.S. Constitution or prohibited by the state are reserved to the states or people. These rules are listed and very clear with no philosophy attached. On the other hand the Declaration of Independence is a passionate cry of abuse and the desire for emancipation for the colonists driven by raw emotion over a chain of events that left them desperate to break away from Great Britain. Declaration of Independence outlines the philosophy why we want to break away and the Bill of Rights is a list of rules that we will follow once we do.