独立宣言

托马斯·杰斐逊

《独立宣言》由托马斯·杰斐逊起草。大陆会议(177674日)美利坚合众国十三个州一致通过独立宣言。托马斯·杰斐逊( 1743 1826)生于弗吉尼亚一个富裕的家庭。他曾就读于威廉——玛丽学院,并于1767年在弗吉尼亚获得律师资格。1769年,他当选为弗吉尼亚下院议员,并积极参加独立运动,而且代表弗吉尼亚出席大陆议会。他两次当选为弗吉尼亚州长,还担任过驻法国大使。1800年竞选总统时,他击败了约翰·亚当斯,担任了第三任美国总统。


在有关人类事务的发展过程中,当一个民族必然解除其和另一个民族之间的政治联系,并在世界各国之间依照自然法则和上帝的旨意,接受独立和平等的地位时,出于对人类舆论的尊重,必须把他们不得不独立的原因予以宣布。

我们认为下面这些真理是不言而喻的:人人生而平等,他们都从他们的‘造物主’那里被赋予了某些不可转让的权利,其中包括生命权、自由权和追求幸福的权利,为了保障这些权利,人类才在他们之间建立政府,而政府之正当权力,是经被治理者的同意而产生的。当任何形式的政府对这些目标具破坏作用时,人民便有权力改变或废除它,以建立一个新的政府;其赖以奠基的原则,其组织权力的方式,务使人民认为唯有这样才最可能获得他们的安全和幸福。

为了慎重起见,成立多年的政府,是不应当由于轻微和短暂的原因而予以变更的。过去的一切经验也都说明,任何苦难,只要是尚能忍受,人类都宁愿容忍,而无意为了本身的权益便废除他们久已习惯了的政府。

但是,当追逐同一目标的一连串滥用职权和强取豪夺发生,证明政府企图把人民置于专制统治之下时,那么人民就有权利,也有义务推翻这个政府,并为他们未来的安全建立新的保障——这就是这些殖民地过去逆来顺受的情况,也是它们现在不得不改变以前政府制度的原因。

当今大不列颠国王的历史,是接连不断的伤天害理和强取豪夺的历史,这些暴行的唯一目标,就是想在这些州建立专制的暴政。

为了证明所言属实,现把下列事实向公正的世界宣布。
他拒绝批准对公众利益最有益、最必要的法律。
他禁止他的总督们批准迫切而极为必要的法律,要不就把这些法律搁置起来暂不生效,等待他的同意;而一旦这些法律被搁置起来,他对它们就完全置之不理。
他拒绝批准便利广大地区人民的其他法律,除非那些人民情愿放弃自己在立法机关中的代表权;但这种权利对他们有无法估量的价值,而且只有暴君才畏惧这种权利。
他把各州立法团体召集到异乎寻常的、极为不便的、远离它们档案库的地方去开会,唯一的目的是使他们疲于奔命,不得不顺从他的旨意。
他一再解散各州的议会,因为它们以无畏的坚毅态度反对他侵犯人民的权利。
他在解散各州议会之后,又长期拒绝另选新议会;但立法权是无法取消的,因此这项权力仍由一般人民来行使。其时各州仍然处于危险的境地,既有外来侵略之患,又有发生内乱之忧。
他竭力抑制各州人口增加;为此目的,他阻挠外国人入籍法的通过,拒绝批准其他鼓励外国人移居各州的法律,并提高分配新土地的条件。
他拒绝批准建立有司法权力的法律,借以阻挠司法工作的推行。
他把法官的任期、薪金数额和支付,完全置于他个人意志的支配之下。
他滥设新官署,派遣大批官员,骚扰人民,并耗尽人民必要的生活资料。
他在和平时期,未经我们的立法机关同意,就在我们中间维持常备军。
他力图使军队独立于民政之外,并凌驾于民政之上。
他同某些人勾结起来把我们置于一种不适合我们的体制且不为我们的法律所承认的管辖之下;他还批准那些人炮制的各种伪法案来达到以下目的:
在我们中间驻扎大批武装部队;
用假审讯来包庇他们,使他们杀害我们各州居民而仍然逍遥法外;
切断我们同世界各地的贸易;
未经我们同意便向我们强行征税;
在许多案件中剥夺我们享有的陪审权;
罗织罪名押送我们到海外去受审;
在一个邻省废除英国的自由法律,在那里建立专制政府,并扩大该省的疆界,企图把该省变成既是一个样板又是一个得心应手的工具,以便进而向这里的各殖民地推行同样的集权统治;
取消我们的宪章,废除我们最宝贵的法律,并从根本上改变我们各州政府的形式;
中止我们自己的立法机关行使权力,宣称他们自己有权就一切事宜为我们制定法律。
他宣布我们已不属他保护之列,并对我们作战,从而放弃了在这里的政务。
他在我们的海域大肆掠夺,蹂躏我们沿海地区,焚烧我们的城镇,残害我们人民的生命。
他此时正在运送大批外国雇佣兵来进行屠杀、破坏和肆虐的勾当,这种勾当早就开始,其残酷卑劣甚至在最野蛮的时代都难以找到先例。他完全不配作为一个文明国家的元首。
他在公海上俘虏我们的同胞,强迫他们拿起武器来反对自己的国家,成为残杀自己亲人和朋友的刽子手,或是死于自己的亲人和朋友的手下。
他在我们中间煽动内乱,并且竭力挑唆那些残酷无情、没有开化的印第安人来杀掠我们边疆的居民;而众所周知,印第安人的作战规律是不分男女老幼,一律格杀勿论的。

在这些压迫的每一阶段中,我们都是用最谦卑的言辞请求纠正。但屡次请求所得到的答复是屡次遭受损害。一个君主,当他的品格已打上了暴君行为的烙印时,是不配作自由人民的统治者的。

我们不是没有顾念我们英国的弟兄。我们时常提醒他们,他们的立法机关企图把无理的管辖权横加到我们的头上,我们也曾把我们移民来这里和在这里定居的情形告诉他们。我们曾经向他们天生的正义感和雅量呼吁,我们恳求他们念在同种同宗的份上,弃绝这些掠夺行为,以免影响彼此的关系和往来。但是他们对于这种正义和血缘的呼声,也同样充耳不闻。因此,我们实在不得不宣布和他们脱离,并且以对待世界上其他民族一样的态度对待他们:和我们作战,就是敌人;和我们和好,就是朋友。
因此,我们,在大陆会议上集会的美利坚合众国代表,以各殖民地善良人民的名义,并经他们授权,向全世纪最崇高的正义呼吁,说明我们的严正意向,同时郑重宣布:这些联合一致的殖民地从此是自由和独立的国家,并且按其权利也必须是自由和独立的国家;她们取消一切对英国王室效忠的义务,她们和大不列颠国家之间的一切政治关系从此全部断绝,而且必须断绝;作为自由、独立的国家,她们完全有权宣战、缔和、结盟、通商和采取独立国家有权采取的一切行动。

为了支持这篇宣言,我们坚决信赖上帝的庇佑,以我们的生命、我们的财产和我们神圣的名誉,彼此宣誓。                                      (蒲隆 清漪录入2003/6/4

《独立宣言》是经典名作,开创了民主制度,使他成为世界不朽的伟人。杰斐逊也曾任美国第三届总统,但在其生后墓碑上,并没有写上“第三任总统”之词,没有专制国家崇拜“官本位”赞美言语,而是刻着以下文字∶“这里安葬的是托马斯•杰斐逊,他是美国《独立宣言》的作者,弗吉尼亚州宗教自由法案的作者和弗吉尼亚大学之父”(他创办了该大学),这也是他自己写的墓志铭;不禁令东方专制、崇拜权钱传统羞愧
(English) 

Declaration of Independence

4/7/1776

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable 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 to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

 We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and 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 may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

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