Main Points Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence • Independence is declared. • All men are created equal. “All men are created equal. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….” • Men have unalienable Rights: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. • Governments derive their authority from the consent of the people. “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” • When a government acts despotically, the people have a right and a duty to overthrow it. “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.” • We have tried to compromise, but King George has persistently been a tyrant.