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The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Declaration of Independence.
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All of the original Project Gutenberg Etexts from the 1970's
were produced in ALL CAPS, no lower case. The computers we used
then didn't have lower case at all.
This is a retranscription of one of the first Project Gutenberg
Etexts, officially dated December, 1971-and now officially
re-released on December 31, 1993- ***
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The United States Declaration of Independence was the first Etext
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Etext, I have come across enough discrepancies [even within that
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that even "facsimiles" of the Declaration of Indendence will NOT
going to be all the same as the original, nor of other
"facsimiles." There is a plethora of variations in
capitalization, punctuation, and, even where names appear on the
documents [which names I have left out].
The resulting document has several misspellings removed from
those parchment "facsimiles" I used back in 1971, and which I
should not be able to easily find at this time, including
**The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Declaration of
The Declaration of Independence
of The United States of America
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for
one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected
them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the
pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments
are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the
consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government
becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People
to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,
laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its
powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect
their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that
Governments long established should not be changed for light and
transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that
mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,
than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they
are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce
them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their
duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for
their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of
these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains
them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of
the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated
injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove
this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and
necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and
pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his
Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly
neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of
large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish
the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right
inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public
Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance
with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for
opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause
others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable
of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their
exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the
dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States;
for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of
Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration
hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his
Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure
of their offices, and the amount and payment of their
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms
of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies
without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and
superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction
foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;
giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any
Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring
Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and
enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example
and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable
Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves
invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his
Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns,
and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign
mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and
tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty perfidy
scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally
unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high
Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the
executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves
by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has
endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the
merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an
undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for
Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have
been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character
is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit
to be the ruler of a free People.
Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren.
We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their
legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We
have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and
settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and
magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common
kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably
interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been
deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must,
therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our
Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind,
Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of
America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme
Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in
the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these
Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United
Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent
States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British
Crown, and that all political connection between them and the
State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and
that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy
War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and
to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of
right do. And 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
End of the Project Gutenberg's etext of The Declaration of Independence
of The United States of America