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We celebrate Independence Day out of recognition for the brave and symbolic action our founding fathers took by proclaiming their immutable divorce with the tyrannical British government.

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Our nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty – the Declaration of Independence – has remained timeless in appealing to the struggle of people enslaved under the political scope of despotic rulers. Our Founding Fathers’ decisive list of grievances is the reason women have the same opportunities as men and all races are regarded equal by law. Additionally, the Declaration of Independence has influenced countries besides the United States, like France, in their revolution in 1789 to gain Independence.

The Founding Fathers designed the Declaration of Independence knowing their actions, under British law, could result in death by hanging. Nevertheless, these courageous and forward-thinking individuals felt compelled to sever ties with Britain, and affirmed the colonies right to go to war in order to obtain freedom. The following is a list of quotes from our founding fathers addressing their opinions towards the Declaration of Independence and what they believed it meant for the future of the colonies.

Thomas Jefferson

May it be to the world, what I believe it will be … the signal of arousing men to burst the chains … and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. … For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.

“Equal and exact justice to all men…freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected, these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us”

Benjamin Franklin

Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily bear the latter.

“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.”

Patrick Henry

If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight!

“The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I Am Not A Virginian, But An American!”

John Adams

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right…and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.

“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”

I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance.

Richard Henry Lee

“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.”

A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves… and include all men capable of bearing arms.

 

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