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Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal?
BBC ^ | 19 Oct 2011 | Matt Danzico and Kate Dailey

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.

American experiment

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 ...


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: independence; jefferson; revolutionarywar; secession
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To: sodpoodle

Throw in Massachusetts and you might be able to deal!


51 posted on 10/20/2011 2:01:32 PM PDT by freedombird (When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness. -A. DeTocqueville)
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To: FritzG

bump for later. I am a history buff. I love this kind of stuff.


52 posted on 10/20/2011 2:11:49 PM PDT by goldfinch
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To: FritzG

Well, YEAH!!!!! Of course it was friggin’ illegal!!!! They were declaring independence from the friggin’ KING!!!


53 posted on 10/20/2011 2:20:13 PM PDT by Repulican Donkey
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To: Talisker
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends

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.

54 posted on 10/20/2011 2:25:27 PM PDT by ichabod1 (Nuts; A house divided against itself cannot stand.)
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To: FritzG

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!!!!


55 posted on 10/20/2011 2:27:44 PM PDT by Repulican Donkey
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To: FritzG

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.


56 posted on 10/20/2011 2:36:24 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: taxcontrol
Every parent country thinks or declares that the child country can not legally secede from them. That is why we have wars to settle these things. If the child wins, it is freedom and Independence. If the parent wins, it is called a rebellion or insurrection.

Or civil war.
57 posted on 10/20/2011 3:04:28 PM PDT by Ellendra (God feeds the birds of the air, but he doesn't throw it in their nests.)
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To: JWinNC

“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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Revolution

The American Revolution gave each state/colony the same authority.


58 posted on 10/20/2011 3:05:42 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps ("Barack Obama" is Swahili for "Jimmy Carter".)
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To: FritzG

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.


59 posted on 10/20/2011 3:13:27 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Retired Greyhound
High treason, to be exact.

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.

60 posted on 10/20/2011 3:19:52 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
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To: TheThirdRuffian

At the time it was rule .69 mostly.


61 posted on 10/20/2011 3:22:58 PM PDT by calex59
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To: FritzG
Hey, England.

There was a war.

We won.

That's how it works.

Get over it, already.

62 posted on 10/20/2011 3:23:05 PM PDT by Allegra (Hey! Stop looking at my tagline like that.)
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To: Boogieman
Of course it was illegal. If they lost the war, they all knew they’d be hanged for treason.

Refer to Benjamin Franklin's quote:

"We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately ..."

63 posted on 10/20/2011 3:23:52 PM PDT by Lmo56 (If ya wanna run with the big dawgs - ya gotta learn to piss in the tall grass ...)
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To: Meet the New Boss

I think you missed my point.

The Founders knew that the acts they were engaging in would be considered high treason by the King, and yet they went ahead with it anyway. That is one of many things that makes the American Revolution so awesome.

I don’t consider it treason. I consider it liberation.


64 posted on 10/20/2011 3:41:31 PM PDT by Retired Greyhound (.)
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To: Retired Greyhound

Okay, I misread you, and we are in agreement that it was not treason.

However, I believe the cabal led by Grenville KNEW FULL WELL that what they were trying to pull off with respect to extracting moneys from the Americans grossly violated their constitutional rights and that the resistance by the Sons of Liberty groups and ultimately armed defense was NOT treason.

Their mindset was similar to that of progressives today - they viewed ordinary Americans with condescension, they believed their vision of an intellectual elite based in Whitehall administering a global trading empire benefiting all involved (in their view) justified taking the property of Americans to pay for the expenses of the empire with little attention paid to the procedural niceties of actually asking and receiving the permission of those Americans before taking their property.


65 posted on 10/20/2011 3:57:02 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
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To: Talisker
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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. "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Yep, and the FReepers who keep saying our states cannot secede from the Union only need to read those words to know that we have the right and only need the will to do so. The secession of the confederate states was legal the war started by the North was not. The south lacked the ability to win out but they still acted legally, maybe for the wrong reason but still they had the right.

66 posted on 10/20/2011 4:09:08 PM PDT by calex59
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To: FritzG

Winners write the rules and the history books.


67 posted on 10/20/2011 6:40:54 PM PDT by metalurgist (I Want your country back? It'll take guns and rope. Marxists won't give up peaceably.)
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To: FritzG; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

Thanks FritzG.


68 posted on 10/24/2011 3:56:18 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: cripplecreek; All

Look at it this way...It took 235 years to get a group of these yahoos to gether to “question” it...

Whatever they come up with in their analysis, I still like our chances...

Besides, who has the nads to come and take us on it???

I still like our chances...


69 posted on 10/24/2011 9:10:03 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus' sayin')
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