ORIGINAL (GRADE LEVEL 19.5 THAT’S 3.5 YEARS OF GRAD SCHOOL):
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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 from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
REWRITE 1 (FOR BABY BOOMERS – GRADE LEVEL 10.3):
WHY 13 UNITED STATES ARE BECOMING AN INDEPENDENT NATION
The American colonies of Great Britain need to declare their independence and become one separate, sovereign nation of 13 United States. So other countries will take us seriously, we explain our reasons for this momentous action below.
Some things are just true:
- All people are created equal.
- Our Creator gives all people rights that no one can take away, including the right to live, the right to be free, and the right to seek happiness.
- People create governments to help them pursue these rights, but those governments have power only because their citizens agree to be governed.
- Natural law entitles citizens whose government tramples their rights to change that government – or even to abolish it. When crafting a new government, they should lay a strong foundation and align powers so as to ensure their safety and happiness.
That said, people should not change longstanding governments for trivial reasons. Historically, people have been more likely to suffer as long as they can than to set things straight by throwing off their current government. But Great Britain’s king has become increasingly despotic by consistently abusing us and usurping power at every turn. (We set out 27 egregious examples below.) At this point, we not only can but must declare our independence and provide new ways to protect our security.
REWRITE 2 (FOR MILLENNIALS AND YOUNGER – GRADE LEVEL 5.2):
IT’S NOT US. IT’S YOU.
We 13 American colonies are so done with Great Britain. You know why?
Here’s the deal:
- We are people. We are created equal.
- We have rights no one can take away, including the right to live, the right to be free, and the right to seek happiness.
- Governments are supposed to help their people pursue these rights. But governments have power only because their people agree to be governed.
- People whose government tramples their rights are entitled to change that government – or even to walk away from it. When creating a new government, they should make sure it is on a strong foundation and that its powers ensure their safety and happiness.
We get it – people should not change their governments just because. Over history, people have been willing to suffer a lot rather than trashing their current government. But, come on! Great Britain’s king has become a dictator. He abuses us and takes our power whenever he can. (We’re just getting warmed up. We set out 27 specific complaints below.) At this point, we have no choice. We simply have to declare our independence and start over.