American Values in the Declaration of Independence

1281 words 6 pages
American Values of the Declaration of Independence In 1776, a semi-unified country signed one of the most important documents in history. Since then the nation has shown signs of how different the country was from 1776 to the present. The Declaration of Independence is based on the social contract theory of government and is focused on equality, freedom, and power.These values have been both supported and contradicted in American history (Jefferson, pg.443). In the declaration, Jefferson states 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” (Jefferson, pg.443). This speaks directly to the humanist theory of …show more content…

In a time where independence is lacking in other countries, the United States government tries to export its qualities to other non-independent countries. Even though at one point in time the United States became free on its own from higher powers, now America is the higher power trying to enforce independence in other countries. Though the United States has good intentions, it is not difficult to understand how other nations could see America as imperialist. America doesn’t want to expand its territorial boundaries but it has no problem trying to inflict their style of government on other nations.
The Declaration discusses how much power the United States will have by stating that the newly independent colonies will 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” (Jefferson, pg.446). Power is one value that anyone can appreciate. No matter what country a person is from, at one point in time they wanted power. To give a country the qualities that Jefferson has quoted, “levy war,


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