America's Declaration of Natural Rights--An Examination of the Declaration of Independence

What does Liberty mean to you?
  • The ability to do what you want without infringing on the rights of others.

Primary Sources at the Library of Congress--online resource.

**Natural Rights--not created by law. Not granted these rights, but we are born with these rights.
  • You have the rights to your own body--your property. (Murray Rothbard)
  • Bill of Rights follows natural rights
  • America was founded on Natural Rights

Declaration of Independence--author was Thomas Jefferson and four others. Much of Jefferson's writing of the Declaration was taken from philosophers, politicians and scientists before him. This was not plagiarizing--but it showed his power.
  1. Jefferson--renaissance man; politician, author, musician..always trying to improve himself. Started the Library of Congress. Dedicated his life to reading. Locke and Newton were his idols, and his writings took away a lot from Locke's works.
    • "All Men Are Created Equal"
      • Divine rights of Kings;
      • Jefferson disagrees, saying we all get rights at birth; not from Kings.
    • "Consent of the Governed"
      • Did the Declaration of Independence support the secession of the Confederate States. Were the Confederate states exercising natural rights or natural wrongs?
      • Do you feel voting in the United States appoints the government power through the consent of the governed?
        • What about Bush v. Gore?
    • "Train of Abuses"
      • have the right to revolution.
    • "Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"
      • Property was removed from the draft by Ben Franklin, one of the draftees.
      • What does the phrase "pursuit of happiness." Jefferson put this phrase in.