America's Beginnings

Thursdays 2 - 3pm starting August 23

America's Beginnings: The Founding Fathers and their Mark upon Our Country.
We will take brief looks at the characters that helped form the early days of Our Country, including John Locke, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and others. The class will also learn about the founding documents: The Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, The Federalist Papers, and the Bill of Rights. 
Cost: $2 - 5 donation per family per meeting requested; free to DLC Supporting members. 

Please note there are no drop-ins for this class. Please contact the instructor to see if there is space.

 "Declaration of Independence--In other Words"

When things happen in life, and it is necessary for a group of people to separate from the Nation that has governed them, and for that group of people form a new Nation, with all the rights and liberties which the Laws of Nature and Natures God entitle them to, it is reasonable to expect that those people would state the reasons which force them to have to separate from their former Government.

To us, it is obvious, that all men are created equal.  That they are given, by their creator, the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness.  And that in order to make sure nobody infringes upon these rights, people form governments.  Those governments get their only power FROM THE PEOPLE, who give the government certain powers.

Whenever government becomes destructive of the rights of the people, it is the right of the people to do away with that government, and to form a new government, which will better protect their rights.
    People will not easily and lightly do away with a way of living--a government--which they have held for a long time.  It will take A LOT for people to feel the need to do away with their government.  People will put up with a lot of suffering and mistreatment, as long as they can stand it, rather than doing away with their government.  But when things become INTOLERABLE--when the governemnt becomes OPPRESSIVE and takes away too many rights, it is the right of the people...the DUTY of the people, to get rid of that government, and to form new government, which will better secure their peace and safety.
    Such is the way that we, the colonists, have suffered under King George.  And we therefore are now forced to separate from him, because of his tyranny and his long list of oppressive acts.
    To prove what a tyrant King George has been, we set out here all the bad things he’s done to us:
He has refused to agree to laws which are necessary to our safety.
He has passed laws without our permission, that are not good or helpful to us.
He has sent many soldiers to live amongst us, even allowing them to live in our houses without paying us.
He has gotten rid of the legislative bodies which we have formed, so we can not pass laws ourselves.
He has required us to stand trial in another country, sometimes without a jury.
He has allowed his soldiers to kill people, without punishment.
He has cut off our trade and commerce with other parts of the world.
He has passed taxes on us without our consent or input.
He has declared us without right of his protection.
He has plundered our ships, attacked our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed our people.
He has hired killers from other countries to help him to come and attack us.
He has forced our neighbors, who he kidnaps on the high seas, to serve in his army without their permission.
He has tried to get the Indians to attack us in the frontier areas.
And through ALL THIS, we have asked, begged, pleaded with him to stop.
We have even asked our brothers in England to help us, to plead for us to the king.  We have been ignored.
    Therefore, we, the representatives of the united States of America, ask the Supreme Judge of the world to make sure we are morally correct in what we do here.  And by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, we solemnly write and declare:     
That these United Colonies are, and have every right to be, Free and Independent States;
    That they are FREE of any and all duty to be loyal to the British King, and that all government connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is totally removed and cut.
    That as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States have the right to do.
    And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of God, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our fortunes, and our sacred Honor.