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items tagged with Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson, the American Mind, and the Cosmic System
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2011-06-29 11:26:56

On May 26, 1776, John Adams – who represented Massachusetts at the Second Continental Congress – wrote exultantly to his friend James Warren that “every post and every day rolls in upon us independence like a torrent.” Adams had reason for rejoicing, for this was what he and others had hoped and worked for almost since the Congress had convened in May of the previous year. It helped, to be sure, that George III had proclaimed the colonies in rebellion, and this encouraged the Americans to take him at his word. Later, George Washington proceeded to drive General Howe out of Boston. This demonstrated that Americans need not stand on the defensive, but could vindicate themselves in military strategy quite as well as in political.

However exciting to some, America was going through the difficult process of being born. In any event, the stage of history was being set. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced three resolutions calling for independence, foreign alliances, and confederation. Some wanted unity and voted to postpone the final vote for three weeks. This allowed time for debate and for the hesitant and fainthearted to come over or step out. In the meantime, Congress appointed a committee to prepare a “Declaration of Independence.” This committee consisted of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson had come to the Continental Congress the previous year, bringing with him a reputation for literature, science, and a talent for composition. His writings, said John Adams, “were remarkable for their peculiar felicity of expression.” In part because of his rhetorical gifts, in part because he already had a reputation for working quickly, in part because it was thought that Virginia – as the oldest, the largest, and the most deeply committed of the states – should take the lead, the committee unanimously turned to Jefferson to prepare a draft declaration.


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What Price Freedom?
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2010-06-30 20:49:40

Let me tell you about 56 men who risked everything -- their fortunes and their lives -- to take a stand for truth. These men laid everything on the line, pledged it all -- "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor" -- because they believed in a radical idea: that all people are created to be free. They believed that freedom is a spiritual concept in that the rights we possess are, in their words, given to us by the Creator. Let me emphasize: At the heart of these rights is a radical freedom, the freedom to speak, to dissent, to protest, and to seek relief, if necessary, against an unjust government -- that is, one that won't listen to the people.


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The Line in the Sand Is Drawn. Will You Help Hold It?
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Editorials

2009-11-24 12:03:00

Continental Congress 2009

The Continental Congress 2009 concluded its 11 days of deliberating on Saturday, November 21. The work product that is emerging, titled "Articles of Freedom," is a testament to a measured, thoughtful, and lawful process that all Americans can be proud of. The more than 100 delegates that convened from 48 states set out to end the violations of the Constitution through which the People's administrative and judicial processes have already been exhausted - i.e., exercising their First Amendment Right to Petition for a Redress of Grievances with no legitimate response from the federal government.

The resultant document, "Articles of Freedom," is the proverbial line in the sand that, if 3 to 5 percent of America embraces it, can restore Constitutional order in America. The "Remedial Instructions to Congress & the States" as well as the suggested "Civic Action" for the people to take to enforce these instructions illustrate that we are in our Republic's 11th hour. If we are to remain a free people, it is time to take action beyond two-party elections, beyond unheard petitioning, and beyond rallies and marches. Those efforts have not worked.


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