How Thomas Jefferson Put the Golden Rule into The Declaration of Independence

tomjefferson1976

springfield museum

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson made the “Golden Rule” the foundation of American Democracy by changing John Locke’s Natural rights law from Life, Liberty and Property to the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The change insures that decisions are driven by civic virtue instead of selfishness. The change resulted from Jefferson’s understanding of the “Golden Rule” and his struggle with slavery. The original draft of the Declaration of Independence contained a scathing denunciation of slavery.[1]  Jefferson’s change declares it immoral and illegal to consider one person the property of another. If you would be unhappy…

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