Executive Power

A Declaration ... of the People's Plight ...


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" Drafted by Thomas Jefferson

between June 11 and June 28, 1776,

the Declaration of Independence is at once



the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty

and Jefferson's most enduring monument.



...
Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases,

Jefferson expressed the convictions

in the minds and hearts of the American people
.




The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new;



its ideals of individual liberty

had already been expressed by John Locke

and the Continental philosophers.



What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy

in "self-evident truths"



and set forth a list of grievances

against the King



in order to justify before the world

the breaking of ties between the colonies

and the mother country. "



Source: The Charters of Freedom website.