The Declaration at 241: Still a Model for the World

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...

That preamble was a shot heard around the world at a time when communication wasn't immediate or global.  The Second Continental Congress gathered in the Philadelphia heat in the summer of 1776 to vote for independence and also to formalize and record their rationale for doing so.  The document that was produced from that summer, which was primarily authored by Thomas Jefferson, is one of the most concise and elegantly written political documents of its kind.  

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