Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence is one of the United States founding documents, authorized by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 at the start of the Revolutionary War (the date from which the United States dates its independence). Thomas Jefferson was one of the primary authors of the Declaration. The basic thesis of the Declaration is that the assembled congress declared "that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states." The Declaration lists a set of grievances against Britain, specifically against King George, which are offered as justification for severing the political relationship with Britain.
There are many fundamental libertarian concepts expressed in the Declaration. The Declaration asserts that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and lists example rights which the revolutionaries felt to be among them. The Declaration further states that governments are instituted for the purpose of securing these rights. In other words, the purpose of government is to act as a delegated agent on behalf of the people to protect their rights. Minarchist libertarians generally believe that the role of government should be limited to something like this one purpose. The Declaration also asserts that when government has failed to adequately secure the rights of the people, the people have the right to abolish or reform their government in a means that they deem acceptable. In this way the Declaration suggests that the people have a right and obligation to innnovate new styles of government in order to secure their rights. Within two decades the United States had innovated two new forms of government, one through the Articles of Confederation, and another through the Constitution, which continues to this day.
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