What Are The Natural Rights In The Declaration of Independence?
As the drafter Thomas Jefferson described in the Declaration of Independence, those natural rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thomas Jefferson sourced this concept in the document from the enlightenment philosophers’ writings. One of the main thinkers among them was John Locke, who broadly discussed people’s life, liberty, and private property.
[Interesting Fact: The Declaration of Independence’s famous line “Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit of Happiness” was borrowed from John Locke’s philosophy of “Life, Liberty, And Property”. While writing the first draft, Jefferson replaced the “Property” term with “The Pursuit of Happiness”]
But Why The Declaration of Independence Had To Discuss These Natural Rights?
First of all, according to the document, these rights are human beings’ birthrights. Every single human being on the planet of the earth is equally born with them.
These rights keep human beings separate from other living species; without them, there would be no difference between humans and animals.
Therefore, these are unalienable and can’t be taken away from them under any circumstances. But under the rule of Great Britain, the people of the 13 North American colonies started facing difficulties enjoying these God-given rights.
Using many unjust rules and regulations, the British government and King were trying to take away all these rights of the 13 colonies’ common people.
Hence, finally, after a few events, there was a situation came for the colonists to declare independence from Great Britain via the Declaration of Independence for protecting their natural rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness).
[Interesting Fact: Great Britain was the mother country of the 13 North American colonies; even the colonists had no problem with being a part of the country because they considered themselves British citizens. But from 1764, when the parliament of Britain started imposing bad laws on the 13 colonies, their love and respect started deteriorating towards their mother country. Finally, after a few events it led them to the glorious American Revolution]
Did The Declaration Succeed In Protecting Colonists’ Natural Rights?
Yes, of course, the document succeeded in protecting colonists’ natural rights. In 1776, on July 4th, the 13 British American colonies declared independence from their mother country and gave birth to a completely new nation in the world.
The nation was the United States of America.
After independence, it became a democratic nation where it was ensured that the common people would be benefited protecting their natural rights in a much better way.
Today we are living in the 21st century; still, we must say, the United States is the oldest and greatest democracy of all time.
[Interesting Fact: After the success of the American Revolution, its influence widely spread in some large and old European countries. These influences finally led to the Fall of monarchies in these nations. For example, one of the greatest events was the French Revolution, which completely uprooted king Louis XVI’s rule from France and established democracy for some time]