Skip to comments.Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal?
Posted on 10/20/2011 12:07:53 PM PDT by FritzG
Was the Declaration of Independence legal?
In Philadelphia, American and British lawyers have debated the legality of America's founding documents.
On Tuesday night, while Republican candidates in Nevada were debating such American issues as nuclear waste disposal and the immigration status of Mitt Romney's gardener, American and British lawyers in Philadelphia were taking on a far more fundamental topic.
Namely, just what did Thomas Jefferson think he was doing?
Some background: during the hot and sweltering summer of 1776, members of the second Continental Congress travelled to Philadelphia to discuss their frustration with royal rule.
By 4 July, America's founding fathers approved a simple document penned by Jefferson that enumerated their grievances and announced themselves a sovereign nation.
Called the Declaration of Independence, it was a blow for freedom, a call to war, and the founding of a new empire.
It was also totally illegitimate and illegal.
At least, that was what lawyers from the UK argued during a debate at Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Hall.
The event, presented by the Temple American Inn of Court in conjunction with Gray's Inn, London, pitted British barristers against American lawyers to determine whether or not the American colonists had legal grounds to declare secession.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
I concur. Your King George III had ever right, nay, responsibility to act.
Reminds me of a passage from the awesome novel "Shogun".
Toranaga: "It is never acceptable for a vassal to rebel against his Master!"
Blackthorne: "There is one instance where it is acceptable, Toranaga-sama."
Toranaga: "And what is that Anjin-san?"
Blackthorne: "If he wins, Toranaga-sama."
Why? The Crown had invested ENORMOUS resources in the colonies, and needed to earn a return on Her investment. By what right did these British subjects misappropriate the infrastructure of those who had paid for them. It wasn’t right then and it isn’t right now.
Oversimplified. The British was not serfs. They was not owned by their Lord. The British Monarch have always governed by consent of the governed. Of course, they had have to turn to the 50th in the chain of succession to pluck George III’s grandfather up from his position as Elector of Hanover and place him on the highest throne in the world in order to avoid having another Catholic king.
If you take Blackstone, the Founders committed treason. Blackstone stated that:
"ALLEGIANCE, both express and implied, is however distinguished by the law into sorts or species, the one natural, the other local; the former being also perpetual, the latter temporary. Natural allegiance is such as is due from all men born within the king's dominions immediately upon their birth. For, immediately upon their birth, they are under the king's protection; at a time too, when [during their infancy] they are incapable of protecting themselves. Natural allegiance is therefore a debt of gratitude; which cannot be forfeited, canceled, or altered, by any change of time, place, or circumstance, nor by anything but the united concurrence of the legislature. An Englishman who removes to France, or to China, owes the same allegiance to the king to England there as at home, and twenty years hence as well as now. For it is a rinciple of universal law, that the natural-born subject of one prince cannot by any act of his own, no, not by swearing allegiance to another, put off or discharge his natural allegiance to the former: for this natural allegiance was intrinsic, and primitive, and antecedent to the other; and cannot be divested without the concurrent act of that prince to whom it was first due. Indeed the natural-born subject of one prince, to whom he owes allegiance, may be entangled by subjecting himself absolutely to another; but it is his own act that brings him into these straits and difficulties, of owing service to two masters; and it is unreasonable that, by such voluntary act of his own, he should be able at pleasure to unloose those bands, by which he is connected to his natural prince."
I won't cite Vattell - but we know that he stated that men were able to choose their allegiances.
Ask the Brits who surrendered.
Indeed. Subversive of the established order, and radical by empowering the people over their government.
I think it was a once in humanity event, the results of which will be buried by those who write history.
We won, already - the Brits just need to get over it!!! Geeze!
Throw in Massachusetts and you might be able to deal!
bump for later. I am a history buff. I love this kind of stuff.
Well, YEAH!!!!! Of course it was friggin’ illegal!!!! They were declaring independence from the friggin’ KING!!!
You've not made your argument that the Monarchy had become destructive, or that the so-called late revolution was intended to do anythin but deprive the British of their just posessin's. I suppose, in a nation born of a grand act of nationalization, we shouldn't be surprised that we have a government preparing to nationalize our self's, our souls, and our sacred posessin's.
OMG!!! It just hit me! Obama can apologize for something white guys did. Wait, the white guys were declaring independence from other white guys in England but England occupied Kenya and had colonies in Africa, so if he apologizes to the white guys in England for the white guys in Philidelphia, he’ll be apologizing to Winston Churchill’s posse....and they were all WHITE GUYS!!! my head is hurting. Why, oh why, did the BBC have to break this story now? Yesterday it was Einstein’s theory of relativity and today it is our revolution! Is there nothing left to hold on to? I need a drink!!!!
Of course it was illegal. If they lost the war, they all knew they’d be hanged for treason. Fortunately, they won, and the winners make the rules.
the political bands which have connected them
That had been resolved in England in 1688 when King James II & VII was deposed by Parliament and replaced with Queen Mary II and King William III.
The American Revolution gave each state/colony the same authority.
of course it’s legal. It became legal as soon as Cornwallis surrendered. We(our forefathers)made a move and backed it up with the will and the ability to fight for it.
It was no such thing.
The King and the British Parliament BROKE the English constitution by usurping rights which belonged to the King's subjects residing in the American provinces with respect to the taking of their property without their consent.
What if the president of the United States sent a team into your home to confiscate your weapons in violation of the American constitution - would you consider your resisting that to be treason?
What if the president came into your home and tried to evict you from your property without due process of law in violation of the American constitution - would you consider your resisting that to be treason?
What if the president tried that with respect to everyone in your state - would it be treason if they collectively declared the constitution in breach and reformed a new government?
The King and the parliament in London had no right under the British constitution (which, although not contained in a single document, was well understood) to take the property of the Americans without the consent of their representative assemblies.
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