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The Declaration of Independence

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Presentation on theme: "The Declaration of Independence"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Declaration of Independence
Example of American Intellectual thought? OR Would Thomas Jefferson been busted by Turnitin?

2 Natural Law Fundamental idea of the Enlightenment was the concept of Natural Law Developed from the Scientific Revolution Used reason to discover the laws of nature

3 IF we could use reason to find the natural laws that govern the physical world
THEN why not use reason to discover the natural laws that govern human nature Such as: freedom of expression, independence, role of government, etc.

4 John Locke and Natural Law
Rejected “Divine Right of Kings” Natural rights are rights that belong to humans from birth These include the right to life, liberty and private property Each individual has a natural desire for liberty and the ability to create a perfect society

5 Social Contract Theory that says the state only exists to serve the will of the people The people are the source of all the political power enjoyed by the state Government should derive its power from the people it governed. Social Contract between the people and the government

6 “A government is only legitimate if it protects an individual’s right to life, liberty and private property.” In order to preserve the common good, the central role of government is to protect private property. This ensures the basic concept of the individual: that everyone is equal

7 “People have the right to overthrow a government that violates these rights.”
The people can choose to give or withhold this power Locke believed that revolution was not just a right, but an obligation if the state abused their power

8 Questions for analysis:
What evidence of Enlightened thought is present? What is the purpose of government? Who creates government? Who has the only power to establish government? What are Rights? Where do you see examples of: Compact or political bond between the people and the government Reference to a higher authority Idea of mutual consent Statement of a social contract (gov’t.—people) e. Violations of the contract between the sides


10 What evidence of Enlightened Thought is present in
the Declaration of Independence? When in the Course of human events,…..declare the causes which impel them to the separation. What was the purpose of government? 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, -- Who creates government? Important to know that government was not created during the act of creation What was the only legitimate government? That which free people freely create for themselves.

11 Arguments of the Declaration of Independence
1. Natural Law [higher law]: What argument does this create in favor of Independence? No man or constitution can violate the higher law. 2. Compact: What do the colonist accept as their agreement with Britain? Colonists agree to be governed by parliament. 3. What do they say violates this agreement? There was no compact between the colonists and parliament that gave Parliament the right to participate in colonial government Taxation by Parliament - wrong Dissolving colonial assemblies - wrong


13 Identify the intellectual trend in the following section from
the Declaration of Independence - Covenant, Mutual Consent Political Bond, Compact, Contract, Higher Authority 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 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.

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