Which Type of Rights Did The Declaration Most Want To Protect?
So, which type of rights did the colonists who drafted the Declaration of Independence most want to protect?
In two words, the rights are none other but human beings Natural Rights.
Yes, it’s true.
As per the Declaration of Independence, these natural rights are primarily Life, Liberty, Equality, and the Pursuit of happiness.
The drafters of the Declaration believed that all these rights are human beings Unalienable Rights.
Under any condition, nobody can ignore or take away these great ends from human beings.
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 created 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 any form of government tries to demolish or take away our holdings from us, 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 better than ever before.”
(The lines are edited and only include the main points from our side. You can read the original one here)
America’s unanimous Declaration of Independence was one of the leading causes of the rapid evolution of Democracy and the Democratic government, which later spread worldwide.
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 questions related to these rights.
[Did You Know? John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau Were The Earliest Profounders of Natural Rights Philosophy]
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 quite simple.
After the Revolutionary War, they succeeded in achieving freedom from the rule of the British Empire.
The implementation of natural rights is the primary reason that today the United States of America is a democratic country.
If our forefathers didn’t do it, chances are high; we would not 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.
John Locke and Thomas Hobbes discussed these rights extensively in their writings, two great British philosophers of the Enlightenment era.
If you want, you can read their books ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’ (by writer: John Locke), ‘Leviathan’ (by writer: Thomas Hobbes).
These philosophers highly influenced the leaders who drafted the Declaration of Independence.
And that is how these ideas came into the declaration (or later in the US constitution).
How Did These Natural Rights Led Colonists Achieving Freedom From Great Britain?
Natural Rights’ philosophy explains that the people of a nation form governments to protect their life, liberty, equality, and happiness from the attack of tyrants.
So, it is the government’s responsibility 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 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 many difficulties in enjoying 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 new nation and a new government with democratic principles.
Of course, that nation was the United States of America, formed as Abraham Lincoln said, “Of the people, By the people, and for the people.”