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Becca Schafer
U.S. History, Period 5
Mr. Buescher
15 September 2014
Declaration of Independence: Most Important Ideal
The four important ideals of the declaration are the ability to alter or abolish government,
equality, unalienable rights, and consent of the governed. However, unalienable rights are the
most important part of the Declaration of Independence for three reasons; America wouldnt be
the same great nation if it werent for liberty, equality couldnt take place without natural rights,
and the pursuit of happiness is what makes people individual and confident.
The U.S. wouldnt be the free nation it is today without the right to liberty. I believe in
liberty. I believe that within every soul lies the [ability] to reach for its own good (Sullivan
1). This infers that citizens today are able to strive for what they want because of the freedom
that they have. I believe in a system of government that places liberty at the center of its
concerns (Sullivan 2). This states that Andrew Sullivan, a writer for the Daily Beast, wants
and believes that liberty and freedom should be at the top of the nations priority. As well as
liberty, the natural rights couldnt take place with equality.
Equality couldnt take place without natural rights. We hold these truths to be self
evident: that all men are created equal,with certain unalienable rights This shows that men
and women could not be considered equal if they did not have the natural unalienable rights
stated in the declaration. I believe in life. I believe in treasuring it as a mystery that should never
be destroyed (Sullivan 3). Without this, Americans wouldnt have the drive to keep living and

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pursuing what they believe is most valuable to them. They should also realize how valuable their
own life is. Last but not least, the pursuit of happiness is very important to the unalienable rights.
The pursuit of happiness is a major role in the Declaration of Independence, and many
would agree that it is valuable. I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Not its attainment, nor its
final destinationbut its pursuit. I believe in the journey not the arrival (Sullivan 4). This
declares that happiness is not a destination, but a well-being and a state of mind. People should
love what they do and do what they love. If, in reality, courage and a heart devoted to the good
of mankind are the constituents of human felicity, the kindness which is done infers a happiness
in the person from whom it proceeds, not in him on whom it is bestowed; and the greatest good
which men possessed of fortitude and generosity can procure to their fellow creatures is a
participation of this happy character. If this be the good of the individual, it is likewise that of
mankind; and virtue no longer imposes a task by which we are obliged to bestow upon others
that good from which we ourselves refrain; but supposes, in the highest degree, as possessed by
ourselves, that state of felicity which we are required to promote in the world (Ferguson 1). To
summarize this idea, being good is what should make people happy, either yourself or another
person. For every individual that chooses the path of his or her own happiness, they are
contributing to the overall promotion of mankind.
The unalienable rights are the most important ideals in the declaration because of the
points I have stated thusly. All of the other ideals are important as well, but by the evidence I
have conjured, I believe the natural unalienable rights stated by John Locke are the most
important.

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Citation:
Ferguson, Adam. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Wikipedia. Wikimedia
Foundation, 9 Dec. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_Liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_Happiness