The Declaration of Independence: Still relevant today? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The Declaration of Independence: Still relevant today?

Lately, the purveyors of more war and dictatorship have taken to diismissing protests that various government actions violate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by simply declaring those documents as irrelevent, being that they are almost 250 years old.

But the fact is that the Constituion does change over time, through the approved process of Amendment, and today's Constitution bears little resemblance to the one signed in Congress all those years ago. Like the White House itself, little of the original actually remains. But the founding principle remains the same. For government to be legitimate and legal, it must constrain itself within the limits imposed by that Constitution.

As for the Declaration, it was never the law of the land, but a symbolic statement. Yet not only is it still relevant, it is even more relevant today that at any time I have been alive.

To understand what led to the Declaration of Independence, you need to understand life as it was when the document was drafted. The American colonists, who still thought of themselves as British, were constrained by various laws which forced them to be dependent on Great Britain for everything they needed, to Britain's gain. The American colonists were required to buy those products they could not make for themselves from the British East India company. The British East India Company, a "too big to fail" company of its day, was actually in serious financial difficulties and Parliament passed the Tea Act as a form of bailout, at the colonists' expense. Granted a monopoly, the British East India Company shipped poor quality teas at inflated prices to the colonies, a move that accelerated the American preference for coffee over tea in the following decades. So poor was the tea being sent to the colonies that the Dutch actually ran a successful tea smuggling operation to the colonies! This triggered the Boston Tea Party, the first and most famous of protests in which colonists raided British ships and dumped the tea overboard.

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