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This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which have never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular or previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion. —Thomas Jefferson

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4 replies to this post
  1. Doesn’t get any clearer than that. But for further explication, please see Harry V. Jaffa (and others) in Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution, by Harry V. Jaffa–Regnery Publishing.

  2. In a recent study of John Adams before Philadelphia, I was amazed that practically every Declaration of Independence and Constitutional principle was stated in his writings a couple years before Jefferson so beautifully articulated them. “Universal liberty” was the cause from the time the Puritans left England for America. The infecting nature of this brought the Founding Generation to terms “at just the right time.”

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