Thursday
October 30, 2014

Homework Help: Literature

Posted by JSM on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 5:53pm.

Can someone explain to me what the second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence means? I have to discuss how America today meets the promise of the opening of the second paragraph in the Declaration and how it does not. Thank you.

-Writeacher has broken down the 2nd paragraph for me

If you divide that paragraph into its parts, it's usually easier to understand. Let us know what YOU THINK each of these sections means, and someone here will be happy to comment on your ideas.

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.

answer:I think this section means that we all equal and we are born with rights that cannot be taken away and that is to live our lives with freedom and happiness

— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

answer: To protect these rights the government is created but its authority of the government should depend on the consent of the people through votes in elections.

— 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.

answer:I think this section means that if the government were to abuse their powers or is unable to protect our rights, we can institute a new form of government that will be able to

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

answer:I thinks this section means that we’ll be cautious when forming a new government and any sign of abuse will not be tolerated

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.

answer:I think this section means when the wrong doing of the government has been going on for a long time or the abuse continues it is our right to form a new government that will protect us now and our future

— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

answer:The Colonies have suffered to such abuse from the King of Great Britain and it is necessary for us to change this…

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

answer:The King of Great Britain has repeatedly abused his powers…the following facts:….

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