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OF

INDEPENDENCE.

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IN CONGRESS, JUZY 4, 1776.
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States

of America.
WHEN in the course of human events, it becomes ne-
cessary 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 Crea-
tor 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 be-
comes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the
people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new gov-
ernment, 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. Pru-
dence indeed will dictate, that governments long estab-
lished 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 suf-
ferable, 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

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constrains them to alter their former system 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 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 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

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