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Declaration of Independence


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,


When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


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.






The Principles of Natural and Politic Law (1748)

Jean Jacques Burlamaqui


The system or assemblage of these rules, considered as so many laws, imposed by God on man, is generally distinguished by the name of Natural Law. This science includes the most important principles of morality, jurisprudence, and politics; that is, whatever is most interesting in respect as well to man, as to society. There can be nothing therefore more deserving of the application of a rational being, of a being, that has its perfection and felicity seriously at heart A just knowledge of the maxims, we ought to follow in the course of life, is the principal object of wisdom; and virtue consists in putting them constantly in practice, without being ever diverted from so noble a pursuit.


The word right (droit) in its original signification, comes from the verb dirigo, which implies to conduct a person to some certain end by the shortest road. Right therefore, in its proper and most general sense, and that, to which all the others must be reduced, is whatever directs, or is properly directed.


The mind recollects what is past, joins it with the present, and extends its views to futurity. It is capable of penetrating into the causes, progress, and consequences of things, and of discovering, as it were at one glance, the intire course of life, which enables it to lay in a store of such things, as are necessary for making a happy career. Besides, in all this, it is not subject to a constant series of uniform and invariable operations, but finds itself at liberty to act or not to act, to suspend its actions and motions, to direct and manage them as it thinks proper.



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