Thomas Jeffersons’ Declaration of Independence is one of the most influential writings in the history of the United States. Penned almost two hundred and forty years ago, in an old style of english, that is not used anymore, the Declaration of Independence is still of value. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson used the ideas of people such as Thomas Locke to declare our independence from Great Britain. An explanation of the Declaration of Independence, its’ history and meaning, however brief is required to ascertain its’ importance. After the explanation of the historical context and the document itself, I will then present the position that John Locke, David Hume, and Thomas Hobbes would for the most part support the declaration of independence had they been alive to read it, or see it live to its’ full fruition. I will also include what I believe their reservations against the declaration of independence would be.
The Declaration of Independence was written in a time when the 13 colonies were beginning to thrive, but were having their growth stunted by the crown. The King of England, would often levy taxes against the colonists, which they viewed as taxation without representation. Colonists were allowed almost no say in their governments, as they were under governors appointed by the King. Any attempt at forming a native government was quashed by the King as it threatened his power. He would force them to pay taxes on everything that he could such as stamps, tea, paper, and many other things. He would require that the colonists not trade with any other country, as all goods collected were property of the King and England. Items would often be shipped from the colonies to England to ot...
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..., that we are consenting to the rules or laws of said place. Hume believed that that was not true because someone who is poor cannot simply leave the British Isles or the United States for that matter, it is not always an option to leave, so we cannot tacitly consent to government.
There are some points made in the Declaration of Independence that either one, or all three, Locke, Hume, and Hobbes would disagree with. Locke believed that one of the sole uses of government was the protection of property. While Hobbes believed that the main use of government is the protection of citizens (State of Nature). Hume believed that no government is ever given full consent by the governed, there is always force or concedement involved. So in essence even the government born from the Declaration of Independence cannot have the full consent of the people (Justifying the State).
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