Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Declaration of Independence from Big Government

-Richard Ebeling
The Declaration of Independence, proclaimed by members of the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, is the founding document of the American experiment in free government. What is too often forgotten is that what the Founding Fathers argued against in the Declaration was the heavy and intrusive hand of big government.

Most Americans easily recall those eloquent words with which the Founding Fathers expressed the basis of their claim for independence from Great Britain in 1776:

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 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.

The Grievances Against Intrusive Government

But what is usually not recalled is the long list of enumerated grievances that make up most of the text of the Declaration of Independence.

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