The Declaration of Independence

Here is an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence (1776):

“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.”

In your opinion, what is the most important line in this portion of the Declaration?

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31 responses to “The Declaration of Independence

  1. Brandon Campbell

    I believe the most important line of the Declaration of Independence is ” All men are created equal, are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. I believe everyone should take a moment and let this sink in. Every single human being, no matter race, nor religion is better than anyone else. I feel that this is a big problem in our society today. If everyone would just treat each other with respect, the world would not be the dark place that it is today.

  2. In my opinion, the most significant line of this excerpt of the Declaration of Independence is “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.” I find this quote of the Declaration of Independence to be of extreme significance, not only because it coincides with my political and moral belief that everyone is equal, but also because I deem it to be a fundamental basis for a democracy and an effective government. This quote establishes a concrete basis and idea for creating a better society of free constituents which I think also makes it important. Also, I believe that this quote is still relevant today and is extremely important to other groups who are fighting for civil rights and liberties. In addition to that, the concepts behind this quote are still a matter of discussion and of social conflict in today’s modern age thus making it significant.

  3. In my opinion, this excerpt stands out to me to be the most important. “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”

    Although the government controls the people, when things get out of hand it is ultimately up to us to make things better. We are the voters who choose who we want as President. By choosing who we want as President allows a new form of government (in a sense) to be created as well. If the last President made a mess of things, we elect a new one to fix the problems. As the people, all we want is safety and happiness so we come together to vote for a President that says he could create that for us.

  4. I believe that the most important part is, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes…”

    As I read this excerpt I was thinking that it might honestly be possible for America to change its government. However, this line came across like a little disclaimer, protecting itself from the unhappy people in the country. If the people of America wanted a new government I’m pretty sure that the prudence of the people in government positions would disagree and be able to do so Constitutionally.

  5. What sticks out to me is the line –”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” it shows if the people do not like the government they have at the moment they have the power to end it and make one that they believe will be better. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is people now a days won’t do this because they are afraid to stand up to “The Man” if people knew there rights I believe they will have more confidence and all stand up.

  6. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”
    I feel like these lines are the most important due to the type of the government the United States has. As a democracy, the people decide who will lead the nation (although not 100% directly). Because of this, the political parties of the US need to have the support of the American public, or they will not win any elections.

  7. “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”

    This section from the Declaration of Independence basically sets up the form of government that would allow change if ever necessary. When the colonies wanted to break free of Brittan, they wanted the government to change because the colonies were being taxed despite having no representation in Parliament at the time. The citizens of the colonies wanted change and this line allows it. The first part which states “instituted among Men” gives all people a say in their government. When the colonies were looking to break free, only the elite had any say in Parliament. Through this section of the Declaration of Independence, all people get a say in government and can change it as necessary for the well-being of the whole country.

  8. Katelyn Mategrano

    “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.” with this line our founding fathers gave us the opportunity to change our government if it stopped working for us. it was a opportunity that they were not given under Great Britien’s rule. It has allowed us to make changes to how we run the country over the years to better fit our needs as a country.

  9. The Declaration of Independence is arguably the most important document in United States history. Of this document, one of the lines that stands out most to me is “…Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This line is ironic and terribly hypocritical. When it says that “all men” obtain these rights, that’s only half true. Sure, the white men of the blossoming nation had rights, but what about everyone else? What about the slaves these noble men imprisoned? What about the women or the other smaller minorities? It’s just ironic to me that this country was pretty much built off of a document ensuring that this was the land of the free and freedom wasn’t given to the entire country’s inhabitants.

  10. I believe the most important sentence reads: “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.” Even today, this inspirational language expresses a deep commitment to human equality. These famous words are all that most people remember of the American Declaration of Independence. The writers of the Declaration are claiming that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” When the term “self-evident” is used, it means that the human rights require no defense because their virtue is unquestionable.

  11. “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.” The reason being is because this line led to slavery being abolished, equal rights in the workplace and even now legalizing gay marriage. Even if their some close minded people out there, this line says that God has given certain rights. We should be able to love who we wish to love and live how we wish to live and this line gives us those rights.

  12. Tasneem Abdelmajid

    I think the most important line from the excerpt is the first one. ““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.” I find this line ironic and hypocritical. History shows exactly how the United States has been anything but equal to everyone. In the past it was slavery, women’s rights, and minority groups. Even though the Declaration of Independence says that the rights are “unalienable” and “self-evident” each of these groups of people had to fight for their rights, and the fight is continuing into this time period as well (in my opinion, they still aren’t being treated equally). There are people, like the LGBT community, still trying to fight for their rights in this country. If these rights were truly “self-evident”, this shouldn’t even be a struggle for the people in this country. The foundations for this country were allegedly built on equality, however, history and the time period we live in proves otherwise.

  13. My favorite line as stated in the Declaration of Independence is, “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.” This line sticks out to me because as we live in this world we have certain rights that should never be taken away. Back when the Declaration was written I believe that the colonists were overreacting when it came to many of the grievances that they thought Britain has done to them. I the mean the King didn’t really take away their liberty. He was actually treating the colony better than he was treating the citizens of Britain. “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is what everyone wants and the colonist had all of it in a way. Even though they rebelled and formed their own country, they had a number of problems of their own to deal with. I do believe that the United States of America was a good decision regardless of the trillions of dollars the government has in dept.

  14. In my opinion the most important line from the excerpt is, “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.” The reason I chose this line from the Declaration of Independence is because it states that if the government begins to take away our “unalienable rights” we have the power to make a change. We can pay close attention during election periods and vote for a candidate we believe will protect our rights as citizens of the United States. If one of our public officials is abusing their power and not looking out for the best interest of the citizens, this official may also be impeached from office. This line ensures that the people do not give all of the power over to the government.

  15. While reading this excerpt to understand what the words really meant, I found that the part that brings up the citizens rights to abolish the government and institute a new one was something very important. It states “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” This quote makes me think about when exactly we have the right to abolish a government. How would we decide when the government is being too destructive to our rights. If you use our gun laws as an example, would the government taking away our right to bear arms be a reason for us to try and alter or abolish it? This excerpt actually raised a lot of questions for that I didn’t expect.

  16. “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…” This statement stood out to me the most because we have experienced things that the government instituted, such as abortion rights, that can be destructive to our civil rights. Even though the government is made for the people, “by the people”, they are still finding ways to take away those rights. As the people we try to chose the right candidate to represent and protect, but there are always those drawbacks.

  17. I think that the most important line from the Declaration of Independence is “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.” It’s important because America’s whole thing supposedly is EQUALITY and yet it’s not. I hear Americans go on and on about how this is a free country and they condemn other countries for being oppressive and yet we do it to our own people. That line right there should be the backbone of our society if we’re going to be that free nation by allowing gay people in every state their rights, make it a safe place to be a minority, and so on. Equality should be our first priority or else we have no claim on freedom.

  18. I believe that the most important line of the Declaration of Independence is, ” 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.” I think this is the most important line because we all believe it to be true, but looking back in history we didn’t believe in equality of men. We enslaved a group of people because their skin color was different than ours. Today we may not have slaves, but we still don’t believe in equality in America. We have ‘random’ screening in the airports, but what we really are doing is racially profiling people. Today do we really believe that we are all created equal and have the same rights as anyone in this country?

  19. I believe that the most important line in The Declaration of Independence is, “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.” I feel that in today’s society, all men are not treated equal. This statement about equality gets walked over every single day. Whether it is about weath, physical appearance, status, or talent, someone always has that feeling of superiority within themselves. Therefore, we all need to make a healthy change and realize that we are all human beings. We need to act and treat one another as if we are one because “all men are created equal.” These are our rights, to be treated fairly in both the eyes of our peers and in the eyes of our government.

  20. I think that the most important line of the Declaration of Independence is, “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.” Throughout several years the United States of America has not treated everyone with equality. For example during slavery, and women’s rights. Although the Declaration of Independence says the rights are given to us, these groups have proven that we had to fight for our rights. Today in society one problem is that there are still some humans, who don’t know how to treat each other with respect and equality.

  21. I think that when talking about this portion of the Declaration of Independence there is one line that stands out the most to me and I also think it is the most important line.

    “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.”

    I think this is the most important line because it told the people of the United States if they didn’t like the way things were going, they had the power to change or get rid of this type of government altogether and they didn’t have this type of power while they were under the rule of Great Britain. I also think it is important because the document is telling the people whatever they think is the most safe and will make them the most happy is what they should have and that shows they aren’t being taken advantage of by the men who wrote it. Lastly, I think this line gives the people exactly what they want because they want to have some type of say in what is going on so this ensures they will definitely have a say in what goes on in the government.

  22. In my opinion the most important line is, “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.” When I read this I think of how the politicians have been passing bills that coincidentally help them and there friends gain money. So many middle class citizens are suffering because of the politicians greed. I believe it is time this abuse of power is stopped and we elect politicians who actually care for the majority instead of the 1%. They are reducing the middle class and if it is not fixed our country will be in more economic turmoil then ever before.

  23. In my own personal opinion, I believe the most important line of the Declaration of Independence is,“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.” I think that more people need to stay true to this and remember the most important part of this, ” ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”. We need to stop looking down on other people and start working together to make the world a better place.

  24. Most important line: “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.”
    Why: This statement reflects a very pretty thought – that people should have a say on whether the government is efficient or not. Citizens should have the power to overthrow a tyrannous government if it interferes with their rights to live and prosper. It’s a line that encourages progress, and discourages acquiescence. It outlines the basic function of government – to serve the people.

  25. In my opinion, I believe the most important line of this portion of the Declaration of Independence, is that we as men and women are not to be denied our right to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe this is important because when it comes to the pressing issues today men and women have been finding it harder to pursue their happiness. This is because they do not have the resources to do so.

  26. In my opinion the most important line in this section of the Declaration is: 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. The reason that I believe this line is so important is because it gives the people to change the government when it stops working for them. This line also says that they have a right to have a government that will put the people Safety and Happiness above all else. When the US was under Britain’s rule they didn’t get a say in what kind of government they had which is likely why this line was added to our Declaration.

  27. The Declaration of Independents to me represents what this country fought for and believed would be best for the colonies. Because, people were sick of higher tyrant powers a select few stood up out of anarchy and put justice to a guidelines. Therefore, the part which stand out in the Declaration of Independence is to me is, “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”, The Declaration of Independence. Power should not be abused by what a couple individuals think is right for everyone, but left up to the nation in whole by a majority vote.

  28. Although the entire Declaration is important one of the lines that stuck out to me the most is, “It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” Many people in this day and age complain about how the government doesn’t do anything for them or keep them safe, maybe they’re right. Maybe the government isn’t doing everything that it could in our best interest, but what are the people who are making these accusations doing about it? In the excerpt above it states that it is not only our right but our duty as well as Americans to throw off a Government if it will better our future security. The majority of the people making these accusations are not really doing anything that will help fix our Government, instead they complain to other people who don’t care. If these people really want to help our future security as a country, they need to stand up and speak up, otherwise we are going nowhere as a whole. People don’t view it as their duty to do anything about the country’s problems, they expect the politicians ( which in most cases are the ones causing the problems) to fix everything. If we really wanted things to change we would make it happen.

  29. The most important line of this portion of the declaration of Independence, in my opinion, is, “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.” It is so comforting to know that we live in such a country that is built on equality and stands firmly on the fact that every person is equal, no matter the skin color, race, gender, etc. So, to have such a sentence in the declaration that our country lives by is an amazing thing. Though many people don’t necessarily agree, or follow this statement, I think that it is significant that it is, in fact, included in our declaration and is acknowledged by many.

  30. In my opinion, the most important line of the Declaration of Independence from this part – “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.” I believe that no matter what happens to our government we should still have the opportunities to live in a safe environment and becoming civil with one another, pursuing a happy life, with or without a government.

  31. In my opinion the most important line of this section is “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”. This section is the most important because it clearly states the rights granted to man. It is the rights that every single living individual deserves to have open birth. It also touches on the fact that all people are equal and should always be treated as such

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