Thomas Jefferson, from The Declaration of Independence Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein As John Locke had indicated in his Second Treatise on Civil Government, the people have the right to dissolve the government if they so choose, but here Jefferson indicates a responsibility to explain why. The beginning of the Declaration says, "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." The Declaration goes on to say that the inalienable rights of man are to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." And what follows is that the King of Great Britain has caused abuses to the governed of the American colonies, and it is for the several reasons of these abuses that the governed of those colonies are withdrawing the king's right to govern. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily