Which Type of Rights Did The Declaration Most Want To Protect?
Do you have any idea on which type of rights did the colonists who drafted the Declaration most want to protect?
If I answer it in two words then it is none other but human beings’ ‘Natural Rights’.
Yes, it’s true.
As per the Declaration of Independence, these natural rights are primarily including Life, Liberty, Equality, and the Pursuit of happiness.
The main drafters of the Declaration believed that all these rights are human beings’ Unalienable Rights, which can’t be ignored or taken away from them in any certain condition.
No matter how difficult the condition is but these rights are undestructive under all circumstances.
In the Declaration of Independence’s preamble section, drafters Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams explained their natural rights’ philosophy something similar to this:
“We believe in the truth that God has made all humans beings with some special Unalienable Rights; among them are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness.
To protect these god-gifted rights, we create our governments.
But whenever there any form of government tries to demolish or take away our holdings from us, then it becomes our right to abolish or stand against that particular government and form a new one.
And the foundation of that new government should be in such principles that it can protect our natural rights.”
(The lines are edited and only included the main point from our side. You can read the original one here)
America’s unanimous Declaration of Independence was the main cause of the rapid evolution of Democracy and the Democratic government, which later spread all over the world’s countries.
I hope now you have understood which type of rights did the colonists who drafted the declaration of Independence most want to protect.
Next, let’s see some of the very important questions related to these rights.
Did They Get Success In Their Intention?
Yes, of course, the leaders of the Second Continental Congress succeeded in drafting the Unalienable Rights into the Declaration of Independence.
Also, they succeeded in implementing the rights for the people of the 13 colonies of North America.
But how and why?
The reason is very obvious.
Because after the Revolutionary War they succeeded in achieving freedom from the rule of the British Empire.
The implementation of natural rights is the main reason why today the United States of America is a completely democratic country.
If our forefathers didn’t do it, chances are high, we would not able to enjoy the freedom as we are doing today.
But, Who First Introduced These Natural Rights?
Well, these natural rights are the gifts to the humanity of the Enlightenment period.
Two great British philosophers of the Enlightenment era, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes discussed these rights extensively in their writings.
If you want you can read their books ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’ (by writer: John Locke), ‘Leviathan’ (by writer: Thomas Hobbes).
The leaders, who drafted the Declaration of Independence were highly influenced by these philosophers.
And that is how these ideas came into the declaration (or we can say the US constitution, later).
How Did These Natural Rights Led Colonists Achieving Freedom From Great Britain?
Natural Rights’ philosophy explains that governments are formed by the people of a nation to protect their life, liberty, equality, and happiness from the attack of tyrants.
So, it is the responsibility of the government or the authority to be always loyal and respectful to the people.
But sometimes, what happens is, governments themselves become tyrants and start to destruct these great ends of the people.
So, at this point, this philosophy again advocates –
If there any form of government becomes destructive of these ends then it becomes the right of the people to throw that government out of power and form a new one to protect the rights in a much better way.
Now let’s move to the case of the 13 colonies…
Under the rule of the British Empire, the people of the 13 colonies were facing a lot of difficulties to enjoy their natural rights in a better way.
The Parliament and the King of England had been sicked Americans’ lives via imposing hostile rules.
So, to get rid out of these problems, they had to fight the Revolutionary War of independence and overthrow the English’s rule out of their land.
After doing this, 13 colonies formed their nation and a new government with democratic principles.
Of course, that nation was the United States of America, which was formed as Abraham Lincoln said “Of the people, By the people, and for the people”.