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U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists

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Comparison Paper: U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists.

Shelby Trice

GOVT 200-BO5

Liberty University

Comparison Paper: U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists.

        When comparing these three important historical documents it is vital that we look at them with an open mind, one without modern day conflictions, this way we can analyze them for what they originally stood for. When first looking at The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution we notice that they are altogether different in their aims and interests. Both the United States Constitution and the United States Declaration of Independence maintain a critical part in the historical background of the United States of America. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are vital for the spread and incorporation of law-based values. The United States Constitution is the distinguished law of the United States of America. It was sanctioned and marked in 1789 after being proposed to the Continental Congress. Alterations, including the Bill of Rights are also an important piece of the Constitution to remember.  (Baltzell, "Constitution of the United States - We the People")

Now when discussing The Declaration of Independence, it is important to remember what it stands for. The Declaration of Independence discussed the freedom of the thirteen American states from Great Britain. At the time of its signing the American legal advisor John Adams was the key person behind the confirmation of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was signed collectively by the individuals from Congress on July 4, 1776. Not only does the Declaration of Independence discuss issues of freedom, it also contains various articles on lawful rights. This well-known section from the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to act naturally apparent, that all men are made equivalent, that they are blessed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights " ("Declaration of Independence: A Transcription")

remains a moral code for the political theory of the United States.  When strictly looking at the similarities between the U.S Constitution and the Declaration of Independence it is important to understand that the Declaration was written first and contains the original laws and regulations that were to be followed in the United States.

When looking at Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist it is important to understand some background information. The Danbury Baptist Association originally wrote Jefferson regarding their religious freedom in 1801, because at the time they were being persecuted within their state. Therefore, within Jefferson’s letter he responds also acknowledging and believing in religious freedom. Jefferson states “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions.” ("Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists The Final Letter, as Sent") Even though Jefferson believes in true separation of church and state he also knows that complete separation does not yet exist, and he hopes one day progress will be made to achieve that goal.

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