The Declaration of Independence: America's Foundation

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The issue the Declaration of Independence being a legal document has been up for debate in courts for many years now. Although, the Declaration of Independence clarifies the United States identity as a free nation, it has generated intense controversy. Some feel strongly that it did not clearly define the new powers that the thirteen colonies would acquire and did not define the identity of the United States; while, others firmly believe that without the Declaration of Independence the United States would not be the free nation that it is today. Therefore, serving as the foundation for many laws and documents composed after it, the Declaration of Independence has been helpful in defining the rights of the American citizens, the powers of the government, and the identity of the United States as a free nation.

One argument favoring “The Declaration of Independence” serving as the foundation for many laws and documents is that it defines the rights of the American citizens. The document states that “governments exist only through the power of the people that they represent” (Jefferson, 1776). This means that the citizens chose their government because it is the people that rule themselves not government because “only consent legitimates or authorizes rule” (Sorenson, 2007). The citizens can, therefore, choose to abolish the current government if it, according to Thomas Jefferson’s “The Declaration of Independence,” shows sign of being tyrannical. Also, because the document states that the citizens can chose their own government that means that each state can elect a representative that will become the voice for the people in that state. This example shows how the Declaration of Independence has helped to establish the citizen’s righ...

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...till the foundation of the United States and has helped to shape many laws that benefitted the citizens rather than oppress their voices. Because of this the logic and reasoning behind its making still applies to present-day America because it has helped to define the U.S. as a free nation, the rights of the citizens, and the powers of government.

Works Cited

Farber, Daniel A. (January 2007). "Much Older than the Constitution": Lincoln's Theory of Nationhood." OAH Magazine of History 21.1 14-17. America: History & Life.

Jefferson, Thomas, “The Declaration of Independence,” July 4, 1776, The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.

Sorenson, Leonard R. "Strauss, Anastaplo, and Crosskey on "One Hard Nut to Crack": The Declaration of Independence." Perspectives on Political Science 36.4 (2007): 222-228. America: History & Life.
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