For Which We Stand

United We Stand Stronger As Americans

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies


In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,


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.

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 to 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.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly
all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer,
while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the
forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably
the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute
Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such
Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is
now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems
of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain
[George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all
having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over
these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid
world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary
for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing
importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should
be obtained, and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend
to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large
districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of
Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and
formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public
Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with
his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with
manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause
others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of
Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise;
the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of
invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that
purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners;
refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and
raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his
Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of
their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of
Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, without the
consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to
the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to
our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to
their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For protecting them by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders
which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring
Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging
its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit
instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and
altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested
with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here by declaring us out of his Protection
and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and
destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to
complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun
with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the
most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized
nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas
to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of
their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured
to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian
Savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction
of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in
the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been answered only
by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every
act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free
people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren.

We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature
to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.

We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and
settlement here.

We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have
conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these
usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and
correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.
We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our
Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in
War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in
General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the
world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the
authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and
declare.

That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and
Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the
British Crown,

and that all political connection between them and the State of Great
Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved;

and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy
War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce,

and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of
right do.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the
protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our
Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


The signers of the Declaration represented the new States as follows:


New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge
Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart,
Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George
Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of
Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison,
Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur
Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

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"Nation Under God Shall Have A New Birth Of Freedom."

I pledge allegiance to the Flag,
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
One Nation, under God
Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

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Ten Commandments of Human Relations

The fundamental issue in human ethical behavior is summarized by Jesus in what we have come to call "The Golden Rule." Jesus put it this way:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12 TNIV).

It asks us to test our treatment of others by putting ourselves in their place. Treat others the way you would want them to treat you in the same or similar circumstance.

Somebody took that principle and translated it into Ten Commandments of Human Relations. You may have seen this anonymous piece, for it circulates in a variety of settings. In case you have missed it, I am reproducing it here.

Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.

Smile at people. It takes 72 muscles to frown, only 14 to smile.

Call people by name. It is music to anyone’s ears to hear the sound of his or her name.

Be friendly and helpful.

Be cordial. Speak and act as if everything you do is genuinely a pleasure. If it isn’t, learn to make it so.

Be genuinely interested in people. You can like almost anyone, if you try.

Be generous with praise, cautious with criticism.

Be considerate of the feelings of others. There are usually three sides to a controversy — yours, the other fellow’s, and the correct one.

Be alert to serve. What counts most in life is what you do for others.

Live with a good sense of humor, a generous dose of patience, and a dash of humility appropriate to being human.

Made in God’s image, all of us have something to be valued!

The great challenge in human experience is not work skills, but people skills. That is, research has shown that the majority of people who fail in their vocation do so because they cannot get along with people.

You might think through the meaning of these ten common-sense ideas for your own workplace and personal activity. But what about the larger setting for your daily life? These principles work everywhere you go, for they are about showing respect to the people you meet in all those places.

Made in God’s image, all of us have something to be valued, affirmed, and acknowledged by others. But let it begin with us to acknowledge it in them. As the cycle of giving and receiving enlarges, the human community comes alive.

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