Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Declaration of Independence and its Legacy

Catholicgauze wishes everyone a happy Fourth of July! The Declaration of Independence was adopted 231 years ago today. Be sure to read it!

The ideals of people have the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" and "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" have had massive impact on the world.

Domestically these statements led to the creation of a republican government on federal, state, and local level. The ideals feed into the abolition movement, the Civil War, and the liberation of the slaves. They continued on into the twentieth century with the Civil Rights movement. They are alive today in a wide range of issues ranging from abortion, immigration, and civil liberties. Elections are won and lost on these issues and the elected leaders change the course of history.

The American Revolution inspired the French Revolution. The downfall of the Ancien Regime in turn planted the seeds of republican revolution which would sweep across Europe and begin the end of classical Europe.

Even those who opposed the American Revolution were inspired by the ideals which were its foundation. Loyalists who fled after the war settled throughout the British Empire. These people brought with them theories on local governance while still being proud British citizens. Many settled in Canada where they became active in the political scene. Canada later became the first British colony to be granted limited self-rule in part due to the Loyalists' ideals. Canada proved to be a template for other colonies to gain independence from the United Kingdom.

Happy Independence Day and Happy Birthday Mom!

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