July 4th, in my opinion, is the defining moment in American History, and is my most revered “holiday”. My first “experience” on BVBL was as “John Locke”, for he is the real father of “natural law”, which gave us this most powerful statement of freedom and democracy, “all men are created equal. ” The Declaration of Independence, although not considered a “legal” document, is the very soul and conscience of our Democracy. I am guided by those simple, yet awe inspiring words. It was a revolution not only in deed, but in thought, and I honor my forefathers for their bravery and wisdom on July 4th.
In one vibrant paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson managed to compress both a résumé of American constitutional theory that justified the struggle for independence and a précis of a revolutionary, republican theory of government. “All men are created equal”; they enjoy “unalienable Rights” (this repudiated arguments by Thomas Hobbes and William Blackstone that people surrender their natural rights when they leave the state of nature); these rights include “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (a liberal and literary improvement on John Locke’s triad of life, liberty, and property); governments exist to protect those rights; governments are created by “the consent of the governed” (the compact theory); the people retain the right “to alter or to abolish” government when it violates its ends, “and to institute new Government” to secure the people’s “Safety and Happiness” (the commonwealth theory). In their totality, these concepts provided a comprehensive statement of popular sovereignty.
full text http://www.answers.com/topic/the-declaration-of-independence