Summary: The psalmist encouraged his readers toward a focused attention upon the inherent happiness found in their having been chosen of God. Without seeking God, any nation experiences distance & dissidence. When is national happiness experienced?
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, & to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate & equal station to which the Laws of Nature & of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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 & 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, & to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles & organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety & Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light & transient causes; & 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 & 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, & to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; & such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries & usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.....
.....27 specific grievances listed.....
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration & settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice & magnanimity, & we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections & correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice & of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, & hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.