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Happy 240th Birthday, America! Thomas Jefferson would like a word with you.

Roll America!

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Creative Commons license via Wikipedia
Creative Commons license via Wikipedia
Wikipedia CC license

As you're enjoying barbecue, fireworks, and bad local commercials today, we thought it'd be a nice idea to remind you all of exactly what was meant by declaring independence from the Mother nation.

Fortunately, we're in the position of not having oversimplify the issues the Colonies had with England -- a clever man with a far better pen has already done that for us, and we have those very words today.

Thomas Jefferson's masterpiece, the Declaration of Independence, was part PR, part self-affirmation for the skittish colony, and part bitter denunciation against a Crown that had been inconsistent in its dealings with the Yanks. For the next two-plus centuries, the Declaration would remain an aspirational document and model Phillipic for would-be democracies across the globe.

You've probably not read this since high school. So, grab a cup of joe and take 15 minutes to remember exactly what freedoms were sought, what self-evident truths of Natural Law the Enlightenment ushered in, and why it remains a triumph that the democratic experiment was not crushed on the beaches, bays, backstreets and meadows of 18th century New England, in a place we now call The United States of America.

Those ideas are what we celebrate today.

Declaration of Independence by daniellecalma10

The Declaration of Independence by Jarod Weaver