Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Is the Declaration of Independence legal?

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has an interesting article titled, "Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal?" It describes a recent debate between British and American lawyers over the Declaration's legality.

British and American lawyers might be inclined to disagree over the legality of the Declaration. But why? The Declaration had fifty-six signers, many of whom were wealthy, and the last sentence of the Declaraion reads, "... 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."

It's apparent that the signers were aware -- assuming they read the document -- that they weren't signing a simple petition; they were aware that they might lose their lives, fortunes and honor. So, it's fair to say that they were aware that what they were doing might be treasonous. Of course, because the revolution was successful, trying the signers for treason wasn't an option. In fact, by signing the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the British recognized that the United States of America was an independent nation.

Does anyone know why we're continually subjected to these faux "debates?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's see. If the GOP can claim the Declaration is illegal, will it follow that the Constitution they pretend to care about is null too? Then they can rewrite it to exclude women from voting, claim life begins every time a man has sex with a female, reinstate slavery for the poor, orphanages, and hospitals for the uninsured. They can create jobs for undertakers, grave diggers, and people charged with collecting the bodies of the homeless elderly and sick who will die on the streets. They can tax the middle class out of existence, pay pittance wages, end regulation, and watch people die of water born illnesses like it's the 1700's. Air quality will be so bad that asthma rates will quintuple, but medicines will be so expensive only the wealthy 1% can afford them. King Perry will order executions on a daily basis, for crimes like failure to pay a debt, and failure to bow down in prayer. Yes, America will be gone...long live the Declaration.