United States Declaration Independence’s copy. (Original at the National Archives’s in Wasghington)
Today it’s the United States Independence Day. To justify the Independence it was made by the founding father’s a declaration. This declaration it’s one of the basis of modern occidental democracy, together with American Bill of Rights and The French Declaration of Rights of Men and of The Citizen. By other hand those documents whore influenced by the philosophy of the age of the englightenment.
In the actuality, the constitution of many countries principaly in Europe and Americas have some articles directly based on this three documents. Some things in comun between it are the equality between all citizens, the right of liberty, the right of choose the liders and change them, the right of defense. All this was born because those times were a times of change. By the first time some philosophers as Locke or Kant put the Men in first place, founding a new humanism where the scientific knowledge and the optmimism in the futur of mankind where the light of a new hope. At the end of 18th century and beginning of 19th, the world will see one of the greatest changes of history. In fact we can talk in many little revolutions but with a great influence for all times. But maybe the most durable change was in politics. Before the arrive of philosophers of englihtenment and their toughts the world lived in a division of classes. In the old regime people were few rights and all profits were to the church and the nobless. With this declarations and for the first time all persons were the same rights from the king or president until the poorest man. Of course this was the beginning and some imperfections existed like for example the United States Independance Declaration not give the right to vote to black people and womens. But of course, this imperfections would be erased trought next centuries, making that many countries have today a equality between all people and where each citizen has the right of free expression and the duty of respect others citizens. Because if it’s true that rights were born they couldn’t be born without duties. As its known: “The liberty of a man ends where that of the other begins”. So each men as the liberty of do what he wants but that liberty must be codificated to all people profits of it without no one abuse of it own freedom.
Since 1776 the world has knew many changes and many revolutions. We were new constitutions, new declarations, some of them completily diferents of the french and american declarations but where these precisaly, that survived more time. This, because they means the power of the people, the right of people of differents races, religions and opinions in live together, the duty of respect others citizens, the right to protest and change those who are in power, etc. And its all this but in first place the primacy of Man that makes the US Declaration one of the most important documents of all times. Even other documents as the UN Human Rights Declaration its directly influenced by that document. And many recent historical evenements were based on the philosophy of age of enlightenment as the portuguese revolution of 1974, the spanish change to democracy in 1975, the perestroika and the end of comunist regimes in Europe or even more recent the arab spring. All this things have at least one caracteristic in comun: Man its equality and liberty and no one its better than others. They represent the only political system where all people can talk his desires and his fears without fear of be attacked by those that should defend them. And all this its possible because some philosophers, some politiciens and some leaders understood, more than 200 years ago, that the man its the reason of mankind and the hope of the world.