Carl Lotus Becker

The Declaration of Independence

In this long essay Becker analyzed the structure, drafting, and philosophy of the Declaration. He recognizes that it was not intended as an objective historical statement of the causes of the Revolution, but merely furnished a moral and legal justification for rebellion. Step by step, the colonists modified their theory to suit their needs. Whenever men become sufficiently dissatisfied with the existing regime of positive law and custom, they will be found reaching out beyond it for the rational basis of what they conceive ought to be. This is what the Americans did in their controversy with Great Britain.
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