The declaration of independence marked a significant phase in US history. Through the declaration: the USA emerged as a respecter of humans and their inherent rights. Several philosophies underpin the declaration of independence. One of the main philosophies is that human beings have unalienable rights, which are rights that cannot be taken away under any circumstances (Smith, 2020). The unalienable rights highlighted in the declaration of independence include liberty, the right to pursue happiness, and life. Throughout American history, the rights have influenced constitutional amendments and the passing of legislative Acts. The philosophy requires human life to be viewed as important and worth protection by the state and fellow citizens. Thus, no one is entitled to take an individual’s life, and anyone found guilty of taking a person’s life can be prosecuted and convicted accordingly.
Another philosophy that underpins the declaration of independence is the idea of liberty. The philosophy holds that Americans are free to live anywhere in the country without facing oppression. The philosophy touches on the government’s actions toward its citizen and demands that the government protects its people from oppression and undue restrictions (Smith, 2020). Liberties are diverse and often refer to many issues pertinent to citizens of America. For example, people have the freedom of worship, speech, and expression. In addition, Americans have the right to protection, security, and freedom of assembly. The discussed philosophy is one of the most diverse philosophies found in the declaration of independence. Americans should not feel their liberties have been withdrawn, suppressed, or denied. Like the right philosophy, the philosophy of liberty has influenced constitutional amendments in the USA.
Another philosophy, the pursuit of happiness, is well elaborated in the declaration of independence. The declaration held that all people are created in the image of God and deserve equal protection by the law and have the freedom to pursue happiness. The philosophy centralizes happiness as a critical endeavor of any American. The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental right for every American. However, it is imperative to note that in pursuit of happiness, an individual must not break the law or engage in illegal activities. The quest for happiness should be within the legal framework to receive constitutional protection.
Another important philosophy found in the declaration is the issue of people electing the government to protect their rights and liberties. The elected government usually has an obligation to protect Americans’ liberties and rights. The idea of government is to establish social order, which includes upholding liberties and rights and holding accountable those breaking the law (Smith, 2020). The people have the power to establish the government through fair elections. Thus, the power of people is centralized in this philosophy. The government does not have the power; rather, the people give it the power to rule them. In this regard, the federal government derives power from Americans. The concept behind the philosophy is that citizens rule the nation through elected government. As a result, the government must reflect the ideals of its people at all times.
The other philosophy is that people have the power to change the government through an election. The right underpinning the identified philosophy is often practiced in the election of the president, governors, senators, and house representatives. Even when the government is in power, people can initiate its removal through demonstration and a subsequent election to instill a new government deemed fit to lead the people in the right direction. The discussed philosophies are the guiding principles of the American constitution. The philosophies have influenced constitutional amendments and new laws throughout American history. The discussed philosophies are protected by the law and are available to all American, regardless of race and skin color.
Smith, G. (2020). The philosophy of the Declaration of Independence: Part 1. Libertarianism.org. https://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/philosophy-declaration-independence-part-1