Freedom According to the Declaration Of Independence | The Story of Us


I’m headed to the American
Philosophical Society in Philadelphia to
meet with its librarian Patrick Spiro he
studies documents dating back to the time
of the country’s founding. What you’re looking
at here is one of the first printings of the
Declaration of Independence. The first section
is the Preamble. And this is where they
talk about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And the idea is that
individuals should be free to do these
things, and government is constituted to
protect those freedoms. And what the King has done
is broken that contract, broken that trust. And so they have to
be freed from the King in order to be free
to do what they want. Now, can you say that
this was the first time a group of people
decided that they wanted to be free to do whatever
the heck they wanted to do? Well, I think it’s the
first time that it was ever written in a official way. But this is not the only
version of the Declaration of Independence that survives. The other document I
want to show you is this. Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the
Declaration of Independence. And you can see on the
side, there’s these notes. Yeah? Once Congress got
their hands on this, they started changing
words, changing meanings. I think the most notable one
is, in that famous phrase, that people are endowed with
certain unalienable rights, Jefferson originally wrote,
inherent and inalienable rights. Inherent rights, which
Jefferson used several times, means that all people are
born with these rights. OK. So if these rights
are not inherent, then you’re not
necessarily born with them? Only a few people
are born with them. And that applied
only to white society. White, male society. Yes. Yes.

47 thoughts on “Freedom According to the Declaration Of Independence | The Story of Us

  • The original United States Naturalization Law of March 26, 1790 provided the first rules to be followed by the United States in the granting of national citizenship. This law limited naturalization to immigrants who were free white persons of good character.
    Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves

  • A group of wealthy bourgeois people wrote a constitution to become independent from another group of imperialist bourgeois. Highly overrated event and the beginnings to the jingoistic nature of north American culture.

  • Here's the fact. It is true that the terms were directed at a once privileged class. But then ideas changed about 86 years after it was written during a certain civil war.

  • P L E A S E someone explain. Are 'we born with these rights or not according to 'declaration of independence sorry and thank you

  • The assumption was that the slaves would be eventually freed and at the same time the Whites would be freed of the slaves and the slaves' offspring.

  • It was a tremendous step forward for people to be free of an aristocracy
    Everyone, please watch my little nature videos. There is no talking in them. Shhh!

  • Here's a little background info for those who need it 🙂

    IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1766

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands 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 from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of 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 shewn, 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 mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations 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 harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the 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 a 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 offences
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring 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 into 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, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & 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 endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an 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 attentions to our Brittish 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. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. 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 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.

  • They dwell on what is past which is why as humans we can't move forward, but in the united states we are not free never have been and I doubt we will.

  • "White Male Society" i'd say that is a far stretch. i can see how one could possibly interpret in that way but no. i take it for what it says:
    "inherent inalienable rights" *vested in as a right or privilege*; unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor; a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.
    i just dont see anything relating to Race, Creed or Sex with the addition of "inherent". this is all subjective because this word was taken out in the final draft.

  • When people discuss "New World Order"

    I think most people are misunderstood the actual meaning of "Order".

    "Order" is not saying any action / regulation / legislation or rules.

    The true meaning of "Order" is. ……….the "clan", the clan which has been selected.
    [The New World Clan]…

  • This video clip was too vague and short on such an important American freedom document. Please read the Stamp Act. British tyranny

  • That may be true but it's important to note that the definitions have changed. "All men are created equal" has come to include women, etc. I don't think this documentary is trying to say this country is bad. It's just showing a side that most people don't see. It's probably best to watch this with a lot of outside understanding.

  • Why can’t we just decide to pretend that all men means all men (and women)? Why dwell on the inequities of the time? Can’t we just decide it means what it says?

  • Inheriting right from God I hate when they clip shop American history documents and put it out of context? Stay Hearty and blessed

  • Actually, it applied to white, land-owning males.

    Women and poor white males(indentured slaves) were also not included in these inalienable rights.

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