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The Values Underlying Independence Day

The Declaration of Independence — which was signed on July 3, 1776, for public release on July 4 — was Thomas Jefferson’s masterpiece. Jefferson himself wrote much about the declaration in the 50 years that followed.

Not the least of what he wrote offered his view that the declaration and the values that it articulated were truly radical — meaning they reflected 180-degree changes at the very core of societal attitudes in America. The idea that farmers and merchants and lawyers could secede from a kingdom and fight and win a war against the king’s army was the end result of the multigenerational movement that was articulated in the declaration.

The two central values of the declaration are the origins of human liberty and the legitimacy of popular government.

When Jefferson wrote that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, he was referring to the natural law. The natural law teaches that right and wrong can be discerned

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Author
Andrew Napolitano
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is the author of seven books on the U.S. Constitution, two of which have been New York Times best sellers. Judge Napolitano has been Fox News’ Senior Judicial Analyst since 1998 and he is nationally known for watching and reporting on the government as it takes liberty and property.