Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness

The thirteen original colonies and Great Britain had been at war for over a year by the time the Declaration of Independence was adopted in July 1776, and relations between the colonies and England had the been going downhill for sometime.  Thomas Jefferson was arguing then that Parliament was the legislature of Great Britain only, and that the colonies, were only connected to the rest of the British Empire only through their allegiance to the King.  In January of 1776, Thomas Paine, who had only recently arrived in the colonies, argued in favor of our independence in his booklet Common Sense.  It was John Adams, who would later become our second president, that really pushed for independence.
On June 11, 1776, our Continental Congress appointed a "Committee of Five", consisting of Jefferson and Adams together with Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert R. Livingston, to draft a declaration. What they came up with his been called one of the greatest writings of all time.  It was on July 4, 1776, after a unanimous acceptance of the document by Congress, that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved and sent to the printer for publication.  Of course the rest is history!

Of all of the document, my favorite is the preamble, which John Adams wrote.  It says "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."  Remember those words - life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Talk about making a difference in the world.  Here we find a number of people who truly made a difference and continue to every single day.

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