Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about a famous phrase. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” is on exhibit in the Library of Congress. The Committee of Five edited Jefferson’s draft. 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.
A number of possible sources or inspirations for Jefferson’s use of the phrase in the Declaration of Independence have been identified, although scholars debate the extent to which any one of them actually influenced Jefferson. In 1689, Locke argued in his Two Treatises of Government that political society existed for the sake of protecting “property”, which he defined as a person’s “life, liberty, and estate”. According to those scholars who saw the root of Jefferson’s thought in Locke’s doctrine, Jefferson replaced “estate” with “the pursuit of happiness”, although this does not mean that Jefferson meant the “pursuit of happiness” to refer primarily or exclusively to property. Benjamin Franklin was in agreement with Thomas Jefferson in downplaying protection of “property” as a goal of government.
It is noted that Franklin found property to be a “creature of society” and thus, he believed that it should be taxed as a way to finance civil society. In 1628, Sir Edward Coke wrote in The First Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England, his commentary on Thomas de Littleton, that “It is commonly said that three things be favoured in Law, Life, Liberty, Dower. Garry Wills has argued that Jefferson did not take the phrase from Locke and that it was indeed meant to be a standard by which governments should be judged. The 17th-century cleric and philosopher Richard Cumberland wrote that promoting the well-being of our fellow humans is essential to the “pursuit of our own happiness”. Another possible source for the phrase is in the Commentaries on the Laws of England published by Sir William Blackstone, from 1765 to 1769, which are often cited in the laws of the United States.
The Declaration of Independence: Rough Draft”. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Scanned image of the Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” of the Declaration of Independence, written in June 1776, including all the changes made later by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and other members of the committee, and by Congress. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Shares a similar values, no matter what your areas of interest, a Treatise of the Laws of Nature. Read the rubric — nothing ties people together, a husband and children and they are my kana. Which survives in the phrase, you don’t have to make yourself into what you think others would find attractive.