Home
Up
Traditions
Family
American Culture
Shopping
About Us
Links
Site Index

Share Your Family Custom, Tradition or Ritual


Farmers' Almanac

In Association with Amazon.com

To the lobby of
The Internet Public
Library

American Family Traditions

American Family Traditions

The Signers
The Declaration of Independence

Background

What a bold move on the part of our Founding Fathers. To feel strong and confident enough to break away from the English and risk death and destruction was nothing short of extraordinary. They were driven to declare themselves free from "The British Crown" by their passion for Freedom and the attainment of an Ideal; a place on earth were people could be free and equal. "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." Now we may scoff a bit at this statement because even today we struggle with issues of equality. Even our Founding Fathers had such struggles when it came to slavery for example. Study the history, it has been a struggle of an ideal, a principle, a value, against rationalized accepted practices thought commonplace throughout human history. The passion Americans have felt for the principles written in our founding documents drove us to a Civil War; one of the bloodiest wars in American History. Our fundamental belief in Freedom and the Equality of People will continue to move this great Nation toward the ideals expressed in The Declaration of Independence.

Family Tradition

It has become customary to display replicas of our country's founding documents including The Declaration of Independence in libraries and offices at home and at work. This is done in recognition of the important principles that are the basis for the establishment of our free society. The presence of this document in your home will stimulate conversations and discussion to aid full appreciation of the importance of this founding document to the survival of our great Nation.

Our Product

DOI Product Cropped_WEB.jpg (16898 bytes)Visit our Shopping Mall to buy a replica of The Declaration of Independence to display in your office or library or just to maintain in a safe place to discuss with Family members and friends.

 

More Information About The Declaration

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once  the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.1

Further Study

So what are the Principles defined by our Declaration of Independence? If you would like to study the Declaration in detail, please visit the Emory University School of Law Web Site or the National Archives Web Site. Use your browser's back button to return. The Federalist papers serve as a record of much of the discussion surrounding the writing of The Declaration, The Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

Transcription: The 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. We have 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 correspondence. 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.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton2

Additional Web Sites 

http://www.usconstitution.net 
Account of a Declaration 
Library of Congress 
Founding.com 
The History Channel

Credits

1 National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20408, 1-800-234-8861 URL: http://www.nara.gov/ 
2 Jefferson, Thomas. Declaration of Independence. 1776. Project Gutenberg. URL:  http://sailor.gutenberg.org/. Humanities Text Initiative, University of Michigan, Text ID: JeffTDecla. 1993. URL: http://www.hti.umich.edu/


Evening Glow - Christmas Cottage X from Thomas Kinkade
Pierside Gallery
Thomas Kinkade

Traditions:

Freedom 
1.History

2.Flag
3.Declaration
4.Constitution
5.Bill of Rights
6.American Eagle

Family
1.Weddings
2.Anniversaries
3.Family Ritual
4.Candle In The
Window

5.Children

American Culture
1.Holidays
2.Craftsmanship
3.Entrepreneurship
4.Leadership
5.Know-How
6.Competition

dare 2 believe.com

This Web Site is the intellectual property of American Family Traditions. Some of the information provided is general knowledge and some is the original work of American Family Traditions. Permission must be requested to use or reproduce any of its contents to ensure fairness. Footnotes have been provided where appropriate to give credit to the work of others and to ensure you get permission from those sources.
Copyright   2000-2001 American Family Traditions. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated March 8, 2001
Contact Us