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TigerFanInSouthland
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Louisiana
Member since Aug 2012
15975 posts

An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
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Speech at Independence Hall on July 4, 1914

quote:

Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence or attended with close comprehension to the real character of it when you have heard it read? If you have, you will know that it is not a Fourth of July oration. The Declaration of Independence was a document preliminary to war. It was a vital piece of practical business, not a piece of rhetoric; and if you will pass beyond those preliminary passages which we are accustomed to quote about the rights of men and read into the heart of the document you will see that it is very express and detailed, that it consists of a series of definite specifications concerning actual public business of the day. Not the business of our day, for the matter with which it deals is past, but the business of that first revolution by which the Nation was set up, the business of 1776. Its general statements, its general declarations cannot mean anything to us unless we append to it a similar specific body of particulars as to what we consider the essential business of our own day.


quote:

Liberty does not consist, my fellow-citizens, in mere general declarations of the rights of man. It consists in the translation of those declarations into definite action. Therefore, standing here where the declaration was adopted, reading its businesslike sentences, we ought to ask ourselves what there is in it for us. There is nothing in it for us unless we can translate it into the terms of our own conditions and of our own lives. We must reduce it to what the lawyers call a bill of particulars. It contains a bill of particulars, but the bill of particulars of 1776. If we would keep it alive, we must fill it with a bill of particulars of the year 1914.


quote:

In one sense the Declaration of Independence has lost its significance. It has lost its significance as a declaration of national independence. Nobody outside of America believed when it was uttered that we could make good our independence; now nobody anywhere would dare to doubt that we are independent and can maintain our independence. As a declaration of independence, therefore, it is a mere historic document. Our independence is a fact so stupendous that it can be measured only by the size and energy and variety and wealth and power of one of the greatest nations in the world. But it is one thing to be independent and it is another thing to know what to do with your independence. It is one thing to come to your majority and another thing to know what you are going to do with your life and your energies; and one of the most serious questions for sober-minded men to address themselves to in the United States is this: What are we going to do with the influence and power of this great Nation? Are we going to play the old role of using that power for our aggrandizement and material benefit only? You know what that may mean. It may upon occasion mean that we shall use it to make the peoples of other nations suffer in the way in which we said it was intolerable to suffer when we uttered our Declaration of Independence.


-Woodrow Wilson, Democrat, July 4, 1914
This post was edited on 2/5 at 9:37 am


TigerFanInSouthland
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Aug 2012
15975 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
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Speech at Independence Hall, July 5, 1926.

quote:

It is not so much, then, for the purpose of undertaking to proclaim new theories and principles that this annual celebration is maintained, but rather to reaffirm and reestablish those old theories and principles which time and the unerring logic of events have demonstrated to be sound. Amid all the clash of conflicting interests, amid all the welter of partisan politics, every American can turn for solace and consolation to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States with the assurance and confidence that those two great charters of freedom and justice remain firm and unshaken. Whatever perils appear, whatever dangers threaten, the Nation remains secure in the knowledge that the ultimate application of the law of the land will provide an adequate defense and protection.


quote:

It is not here necessary to examine in detail the causes which led to the American Revolution. In their immediate occasion they were largely economic. The colonists objected to the navigation laws which interfered with their trade, they denied the power of Parliament to impose taxes which they were obliged to pay, and they therefore resisted the royal governors and the royal forces which were sent to secure obedience to these laws. But the conviction is inescapable that a new civilization had come, a new spirit had arisen on this side of the Atlantic more advanced and more developed in its regard for the rights of the individual than that which characterized the Old World. Life in a new and open country had aspirations which could not be realized in any subordinate position. A separate establishment was ultimately inevitable. It had been decreed by the very laws of human nature. Man everywhere has an unconquerable desire to be the master of his own destiny.


quote:

The Continental Congress was not only composed of great men, but it represented a great people. While its Members did not fail to exercise a remarkable leadership, they were equally observant of their representative capacity. They were industrious in encouraging their constituents to instruct them to support independence. But until such instructions were given they were inclined to withhold action.


quote:

It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.


quote:

If this apprehension of the facts be correct, and the documentary evidence would appear to verify it, then certain conclusions are bound to follow. A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man — these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We can not continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.


quote:

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.


Calvin Coolidge, Republican, July 5, 1926
This post was edited on 2/5 at 9:23 am


Gaspergou202
LSU Fan
Metairie, LA
Member since Jun 2016
7114 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
Wilson is amongst the worst 20th Century Presidents.

He is best used as a what not to do example.


TheHarahanian
LSU Fan
Duh
Member since May 2017
4875 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
quote:

Wilson is amongst the worst 20th Century Presidents.


I'm surprised to see him writing anything about independence. Wilson was an academic liberal and did a lot to start us down the road to enslavement to our own government.


TigerFanInSouthland
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Aug 2012
15975 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
Wilson was the second Progressive POTUS, but he was stronger in his convictions than T. Roosevelt was.

You can see here, that Progressives have been in our politics far longer than a lot of people believe. And they have been Democrat majority of the time.

Wilson rejected our Declaration of Independence, he saw it as old and outdated, having nothing to do with the modern time. He didn’t think that it was steeped in Natural Law and that Natural Law has been what it is forever.

Meanwhile, one of our most Conservative POTUS, Coolidge, believed heavily in Natural Law and the Divinity of the Declaration.

Progressives have been chiseling away at our country’s founding principles and doctrines for too damn long. We need a Constitutional Conservative revolution in politics.


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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Between sanity and madness
Member since Dec 2006
62991 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
quote:

Woodrow Wilson


The first "progressive" American leader.


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Wtodd
Missouri Fan
Tampa, FL
Member since Oct 2013
34647 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
quote:

What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People

It says why we told England to frick off


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troyt37
Arkansas Fan
Member since Mar 2008
3595 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
Have an up vote fine sir. The difference between the Wilson and Coolidge statement is the very reason I generally vote Republican. The fact that so many Republicans don't seem to agree with the Coolidge statement, at least in deed, is the very reason I'm not a Republican.


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TigerAxeOK
USA Fan
'Murica
Member since Dec 2016
3152 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
The DoE was a preamble to war. While it's wording is eloquent and it's spirit is indomitable even today, modern society is more interested and tied to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Both are clear even by today's standards, and I still fail to understand how people can interpret "alternative" translations to either. I read and understood both in high school and have revisited them objectively several times over the 22 years since I've been in HS... and even with greater age, intelligence and wisdom- the message still rings true as it did back then. And it still boils my blood for people to try and change the meaning by twisting words. The meanings are clear.


Antonio Moss
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2006
39695 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
quote:

Woodrow Wilson


Wilson was a progressive. His view of the Declaration of Independence should not surprise anyone.


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11
TigerFanInSouthland
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since Aug 2012
15975 posts

re: An Example of What the Declaration of Independence Means to Some People
quote:

The DoE was a preamble to war. While it's wording is eloquent and it's spirit is indomitable even today, modern society is more interested and tied to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution


I think they all go hand in hand and they were written that way.


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