Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
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The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are two major documents that changed the history of the United States of America, from that of a colonized nation to that of an impendent nation that would have its government. The Declaration of Independence was a document that was written specifically to the government of Great Britainin 1176, July 4th as a notification to the monarchy that America was a free state and no longer a colony of the British. The United States became a country on its own and had its government. The Declaration of Independence provided several reasons that had made the USA to reach a decision of not having a relationship with Britain and its rule. On the other hand, the constitution which was signed in the year 1878 provided an outline the laws, the rights as well as creation of a government that was centralized in the United States. The approval of the constitution by the states led to the formation of federal governments, which provided the right for each state to practice its own rule under the US Constitution. The existing government of the United States was established as a result of the US constitution. The grievances as raised in the Declaration of Independence were fully addressed by the US Constitution through Bill of Rights, The US Government structure and Laws on trade in the United States. Therefore,without the constitution, the present United States would have not been in existence and the strength of the US government would have been without effect.
The Declaration of Independence outlined several grievances which the United States people had concerning the rule of the British during colonial time. From the Declaration of Independence, some of the grievances which were noted include: The British had cut out any trade relations between the United States and the outside world, something that affected the economy of the United State. Upon the enactment of the constitution, free trade was allowed whereby the Americans could trade with any country or states that they preferred without interference from the British, “For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world.”(Archives.gov, n.p). The British did not allow the Americans to trade beyond their borders and most of the trade was for the benefit of the British. The Constitution solved this issue of trade by opening up the borders of the United States to the outside world for trade and movement of people. Therefore, without the constitution, the present United States would have still remained economically undermined and unstable as a result of the restrictions on trade.
The other grievances which were raised on the Declaration of Independence include the imposing of taxes on the people of America without gaining their consent, “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.”(Archives.gov, n.p). Under the British colonial rule, the citizens of the United States were required to pay taxes without their consent at a rate that was decided by the British. The enactment of the constitution however resolved this issue of taxes by enacting the right of people to pay taxes while at the same time enjoy the benefits of the taxes which they pay. The constitution gives the people the right to question why they pay taxes and how much they are supposed to pay, something that did not happen during the colonial time of the British in the United States of America.
Furthermore, from the Declaration of Independence, the grievance raised by the Americans includes the deprivation of many cases such as the right to a trial by jury, “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.” (Archives.gov, n.p). The British colonial masters in the United States never allowed the citizen of the United States to face trial under a jury, hence promoted injustices and lack of equity within the judicial system. The enactment of the constitution resolved this injustice of being tried without a jury by making a provision in the constitution. It is provided in the constitution that every individual has the right to a trial by jury as stipulated under the constitution (Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments, 2-10). The constitution declared that all Americans were to be accorded fair and just trial involving the jury and that no one should be subjected to a trial without a jury.
Furthermore, still on matters of justice and trial of people in the United States, under the Declaration of Independence, another grievance that was raised was the issue of being tried in another territory away from where one had committed an alleged offense, “For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences.”(Archives.gov, n.p). The British Colonial masters never bothered to seek for evidence or make investigations before subjecting an individual to trial in their courts way from the place where one was alleged to have committed an offense. However, this was resolved by the constitution through the enactment of law that says no one should be put to trial without sufficient investigations and evidence gathered on the matter of concern(Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments, 2-10). Therefore, it can be observed that without the constitution of the United States, injustices and unfairness would have continued in the current United States.
In addition to the above mentioned grievances, the other grievance raised as per the Declaration of Independence was that on suspension of the American Legislature an instead taking of all power by the British and becoming the sole legislature, “For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.”(Archives.gov, n.p). This action by the British meant that no laws would be passed without the British having been the bones to do it. In other words, all laws in America were to be formulated and enacted according to the system of the British rule and by the British(Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments, 2-10). To address and resolve this issue, the constitution of the United States outlined the various arms of government and ensured that every arm of government, including the legislature had its role clearly outlined.
Last but not least, the other grievances that were raised in the Declaration of Independence by the United States to the Crown of Britain included the talking away of the charters of the United States as well as the abolishment of the valuable laws of the US, “For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.”(Archives.gov, n.p). Furthermore, the alteration of the form of government of the United States was also part of the grievances raised in the Declaration of Independence(Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments, 2-10). Under the US Constitution, these grievances were addressed through the provisions in the constitution which outline how the US government structure should look like and the way all arms of government should operate. Furthermore, the constitution bestowed the right to elect leaders on the citizens hence addressing the issue of charters that were taken away by the British.
Archives.gov, The Declaration of Independence: A Transcriptionviewed from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html on 15th October 2014 Declaration of Independence ; Constitution of the United States of America ; Bill of Rights ; Constitutional Amendments. S.l.: Filiquarian Pub, 2007. Print. P.2-10