Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on September 3, 2021

in History, Philosophy of Freedom

… is from page 28 of the 2008 third edition of James W. Ely’s important book The Guardian of Every Other Right: A Constitutional History of Property Rights:

The English insistence on the sovereignty of Parliament clashed with older constitutional notions of natural rights and custom as restraints on arbitrary power. The Americans therefore declared their independence in the belief that they were defending their traditional rights under the English constitution against usurpation by Parliament and the Crown.

DBx: Adams, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Madison, Otis, Washington, Wilson, and other of America’s founders did not seek independence from Parliament and the Crown in order to create Congressional sovereignty – or a democracy the powers of which are limited only in a few explicit particulars. These Americans declared their independence as a means of better ensuring protection of their natural rights as human beings. Anyone who doubts this claim is invited to read the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence.

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