The introductory quotation indicates that Jefferson realized that all governments share “a tendency of power to degenerate into abuse. These fundamental beliefs are evident today in terms like human rights abuse.
The following discussion will examine these concepts in “The Declaration of Independence” and “The Constitution of the United States of America”. The first part of the discussion will detail the alleged abuses that were cited by Thomas Jefferson as a justification for American independence. Then how the Constitution (the original text and the first ten amendments) sought to prevent such abuses in the new republic will be examined. A concluding selection will revisit the ethical underpinnings of Jeffersons thought on rights, abuse and tyranny.
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.
However, the remainder of the document consists largely of a catalog of these abuses, these examples of Despotism and tyranny (words that also appear in the “Declaration” and can be taken to mean a government that abuses the rights of its citizens. These are the facts that the “Declaration”, “submitted to a candid world.”
2. “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.”
In total, the “Declaration”cites 27 of these types of abuses of the rights of the people to representative democratic government and divinely granted “certain unalienable Rights... [to] Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”. Further, the “Declaration” stated that these abuses demanded a change in the form of government. When one authority “evinces a design