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   Chapter 30 FOUNDATIONS

The Wonderful Story of Washington By Charles M. Stevens Characters: 2389

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:04

The fundamental statement of American democracy and freedom is to be found in the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence and in the preamble of the Constitution. That keynote of humanity there expressed is as follows:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable 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 a 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."

The unity of purpose, hereditary in responsibility to all native Americans, and sworn to as the accepted duty of all naturalized citizens, is expressed in the last sentence of the Declaration:

"And, for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Provide

nce, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

The preamble of the Constitution reaffirms and reinforces the American ideal of a progressive and perfective striving toward a government "of the people, by the people and for the people."

It is as follows:

"We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America."

The oath of allegiance into which we are born, and which becomes the measure of every possible American, contains the following inescapable responsibility:

"I, --, do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office which I am about to enter: So help me God."

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