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Thread: Declaration of Independence question

  1. #11
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    Re: Declaration of Independence question

    Well, while some of the complaints were real, the DoI was largely a propaganda document in the form of a lawyer's brief. It had some misleading elements and exaggerated issues.

    And it tries to paint Americans in the best light, glossing over the myriad of things Americans did in the first place to cause the problems.

    But, the flowery language is interesting, because most of the countries to which it was directed were...not liberal republics, anyway. The function of the Document was to entice foreign governments to support the United States, and it doesn't even seem intuitive to appeal to natural rights and revolution when your audience is a panel of monarchies opposed to the concept. It was probably useful for gaining popular support in England for the revolution, as well as in other countries, so as to exert pressure on their governments.

  2. #12
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    Re: Declaration of Independence question

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    The U.S. has managed to avoid coups and power struggles primarily because belief in democratic tradition is very strong.
    I'd say we've avoided coups and the kind of blatant power struggles that certain countries are known for primarily because we are rich. Armies may march on full stomachs, but revolutions thrive on hunger.

    And our history of avoiding civil strife isn't exactly unblemished, either-- the Whiskey Rebellion, the Civil War, the Thirties and the Sixties and on and on.

  3. #13
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    Re: Declaration of Independence question

    We DID tell the King to "(*&)off, but in a subtle and genteel way. Anybody can be crude while insulting another, it takes talent to be insulting with a bit of class...
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  4. #14
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    Re: Declaration of Independence question

    I'd say we've avoided coups and the kind of blatant power struggles that certain countries are known for primarily because we are rich. Armies may march on full stomachs, but revolutions thrive on hunger.
    Look at France. Despite being an extremely wealthy nation, they have had 5 republics in the last 2 centuries. Wealth may be helpful in promoting stability, but it is no guarantee.

    And our history of avoiding civil strife isn't exactly unblemished, either-- the Whiskey Rebellion, the Civil War, the Thirties and the Sixties and on and on.
    Of course. However, there has never been unrest based on the transfer of power. Even the civil war was based on the concept of leaving the union rather than trying to oust Lincoln. Presidents were kept to 2 term limits for more than a century based on nothing more than tradition.

  5. #15
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    Re: Declaration of Independence question

    All that flowery language and philosophy was recounting the reasoning behind the separation of the colonies from their king and tied their actions to the whole historical record of what it meant to be British subjects who from the darkest ages had established a tradition of rule by consent of the governed, a pact made null and void through the arbitrary and capricious actions of the current leadership.

    All that flowery language and philosophy wasn't for the British king or his parliament either; it was for the colonists, to crystallize for them precisely what the conflict was about and why it was so necessary that it be conducted at that moment. Stripping out those justifications and traditions would have undermined the cause and doomed the effort to failure. Rarely in history, has such a great cause's destiny depended on the effectiveness of so few words.
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  6. #16
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    Re: Declaration of Independence question

    I agree with Mr. Rat, you could have told the king that you didn't like him and he wore women's panties, the fact that you won was all the justification that was needed.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Declaration of Independence question

    I guess it depends on what was to become of the colonies after the war and what type of relationship the individual and the state would have. The DOI laid the foundation of natural rights, limited government, the role of government, etc.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Declaration of Independence question

    Yes, it would have been every bit as justified. The whole 'unalienable rights' part was just flowery political rhetoric.
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