Methinks someone's been watching 1776 recently...
1. "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." Bombastic claptrap, overly-sentimental romanticism, or profound truth?
Somewhere between all three, I think.
It's wordy, romanticized, yet profound. They over-worded everything in those days, but a simple statement wouldn't have been enough.
2. Thomas Jefferson originally included a condemnation of slavery in the DoI, but the Continental Congress was faced with the defection of the southern colonies if the clause was not withdrawn. Should Jefferson and the others have compromised on such a principle?
Should they have? Absolutely not.
But there was no way the South would have compromised, so they had to.
I do wonder, if the South had relented, what would have happened. Would the Civil War never have happened? What if the South had not relented, but neither had the North? Unanimity was required (I am watching 1776 right now as I type this) for the independence resolution to have passed.
I think, based on my little knowledge of this time, that if independence had not been declared, the country would have split apart earlier, fighting against itself as well as the British, and most likely have lost.
So while I think it terrible that the condemnation of slavery was removed from the declaration, I don't see how it would have passed otherwise. And we never would have gained our independence.
3. The signatories to the DoI were committing treason against the Crown by taking such a stand. They concluded the document with, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." Do you have a cause or belief for which you would be willing to put your "life, fortune and honor" on the line?
My husband. My family. His family. A few select friends. But that's about it.