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Declaration of Independence in America

Rousseau's On the Origin of Inequality, for example, discusses the design of the social structure that preserves unequal, not equal, access to benefits of that structure. He cites "the different privileges, which some men enjoy to the prejudice of others; such as that of being more rich, more honoured, more powerful or even in a position to exact obedience." Rousseau's On the Social Contract famously begins with the statement that "man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." George Mason, a contemporary of Jefferson's, was to write in the Virginia Declaration of Rights that all men

are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring an possessing property and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

From Rousseau through Mason to Jefferson, the line of discourse is as clear as the assertion of legitimacy for the American claims against the British Crown is famous:

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 fr

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Declaration of Independence in America. (2000, January 01). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 01:57, October 26, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304259690.html
 
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