Declaration in today's English


I originally "translated" the Declaration in 2006 as a lark. I made a joke that it was our divorce papers from Britain, and my professor told me I should run with that, and write about it. I thought and thought, and here's the end result. I've updated it as little, done some tweaking, but it's pretty much the way it was when I did it.

This is a joke, but it's also a decent explanation of precisely what the Declaration really was: it was justification to the world for turning our backs on our "Mother Country." We had to make it look good, had to have "good" reasons, acceptable ones, for something to horrific and egregious as treason on the grand scale we embarked upon, when we, the Colonies, dubbed ourselves the United States of America. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Declaration of Independence, in the language of America, 2012:

From Congress on July 4, 1776
We all decided, all thirteen of us-- you can call us the United States of America,
You know, things change, and time passes, and sometimes it’s necessary for one part of a country to leave the other part and get divorced; it’s necessary for that newly single country to make its own laws, and to be on its own; it’s also the normal thing, for that newly divorced country to be single in the eyes of the rest of the world [divorce party anyone? Our place, tomorrow!], and that they should probably explain why they got divorced.
We believe there is some stuff that's so obvious we don’t even need to mention it to you, but we will: all humans are created equal, that they’re given certain rights from the Creator that can't be taken away; and that some of those rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness [which means getting stuff!!] We think that to protect these rights, the Government is made by normal people, and gets to be in charge, because we said so. We also think, if the government stops helping and protecting them, the people have the right to make changes, or fire the government and start over. The new one, of course, would be made with the job of providing safety and happiness for the people. If we’re smart [and of course, we are!], we know that governments shouldn’t be over-thrown every day, especially when they’ve been around for awhile- and not for just any reason; but, we’ve seen too, that humans are usually ready to deal with horrible things from their government, rather than risk making a new one- “Better the devil you know…” But when there is such a long list of terrible things the government has done, absolute tyranny and evil, then the people must fire them, and make a new one. [In other words, we don't want to support battered wife syndrome any more, OK?]
This is what we've done, and we went through a lot of pain before deciding to do so. We’ve been patient, but the King of Great Britian has done so many things, over and over, all in order to be an absolute dictator over us [and talk about abusive!].
To prove our case for “country-divorce” let us list our troubles for the world to see:
He didn't let us make laws, to protect the people.
He didn't even let his own Governors pass laws, even the very important and needed ones; at least until he could approve of them all himself. However, while we waited, he forgot about us, and ignored the laws needing his attention.
He wouldn't let us send in our counts [our population has grown so much and we deserve Representatives under the Parliment], and so the new citizens had to give up their right to representation: this is something that only a true tyrant and real jerk would do!
And another thing, he called our representatives away for out of town business, it’s not like we can take a ship from Boston to London in three days or something! And when he calls them, he makes sure that it’s hard to get to all the important public records and information they need [we, unfortunately don't have Wikipedia or Google]. The only reason for this is to embarrass them into doing what he wants.
He fired all of our representative houses, the Colonial congresses, several times; the only thing they did was tell him he was taking the rights from the people.
After firing the Representative, he wouldn’t let us elect more, not for a long time; this killed the legislative abilities of the people. This also left the States without protection from crime, and they were unable to protect the people from being invaded.
He wouldn’t even let people who moved into the States become citizens. By not passing laws that made it legal, and easier for them to come here, he’s preventing population growth and making it so people don’t want to come.
He obstructed justice, by not signing the laws we need for judges.
Now only that, but he pays the judges, and decides how long they sit on their benches; this makes them want to do only what he wants, rather than be fair and lawful [Ol' Boys network, just can't get away from it, can we?].
He created all sorts of new official government jobs, and sent hordes of them here specifically to harrass the people, and eat us out of house and home (because he’s making us feed them, or go to prison).
He has had armed soldiers all over the place, during peace time, keeping an eye on us, without our permission.
He even made the military immune to the civillian authorities, and even considers them to be more powerful.
He has even gotten together with some of his buddies (in the Parliment) to make us follow some so-called laws, that are illegal. He has signed several acts into law, from their immoral, unjust, and illegal laws:
One that forces us to move them in, feed and provide for a very large army of soldiers, who just happen to be armed to the teeth.
One that set up fake trials for murders they committed on us (also known as playing pretend).
One that cut off our free trade with the rest of the world (so we can’t sell to anyone but Britain, or buy from anyone but Britain).
Another that taxes us, without our consent (by having our own people in the Parliament to represent us, we just want to be heard).
One took away our right to trial by jury.
One drags us off to Britain for false crimes, to have a trial there,
One that changed the laws that rule Canada, setting up a government of his own people, and making it much larger; he’s using it as an example of what he can do here.
They took away our Charters and Constitutions, got rid of our laws, and changed our governments.
One closed our own Legislature, fired them, and sent them home, and claims that the only ones who can make laws for us, is the Parliament.
The King has given up governing us here, by saying we were no longer protected by the British crown, and by going to war against us.
He attacked us at sea, pillaged on the coasts, burned up our towns and killed many of our people (those that lived, were ruined).
He is, right now, bringing a large army of German mercenaries to kill us; he started this with his soldiers, but will continue it with cruel barbarians- not something the ruler of a civilised nation would do, but more like an abusive spouse.
He has allowed and encouraged us to be kidnapped from our ships, and forced us to fight against our own country- to kill our friends and family, or to be killed by them.
He has caused fights among us, and tried to kill the people who are living on the frontiers, by hiring the “Indian Savages” (who kill everyone, men, women and children).
Every time the King and Parliament have done these things to us, we’ve asked, begged and pleaded for them to stop; we’ve been given more of the same. A King, who acts like this, is a true tyrant, and isn’t good enough to rule free people.
We haven’t ignored our British cousins. We did warn them, every once in a while, that when they tried to make laws over us, they were over their pay grade. We reminded them why we moved here, and why we live here now. We asked them to look into their hearts for kindness; we reminded them that we are related- we’re brothers- and asked them to protest this treatment from the King (which we knew would probably cause us to divorce them.) They haven’t listened either, and so, we accept that it is needed to separate from them. We will count them the same as any other country: enemies in war time, friends in peace.
We, Representatives the newly formed United States of America, got together on this, and now appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world to witness our honesty in this choice; we do in the Name, and by the Authority of the People of the Colonies solemnly declare:
That these United Colonies are (and have every right to be) free and independent states; that they are divorced from any connection to the British Crown, and all political connections between them and Great Britain are completely disolved. As free states, they have the power to make war, peace, friendships or alliances, set up commerce and anything else that Independent States have a right to do.
And, in support of this Declaration, asking for the protection of Divine Providence, we promise our lives, money and honour to one another. [In other words, we, the undersigned, are all in this together.]
John Hancock
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
Geo. Walton
Wm. Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
Edward Rutledge
Thos. Heyward, Junr.
Thomas Lynch, Junr.
Arthur Middleton
Samuel Chase
Wm. Paca
Thos. Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Th. Jefferson
Benja. Harrison
Thos. Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Robt. Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benja. Franklin
John Morton
Geo. Clymer
Jas. Smith
Geo. Taylor
James Wilson
G’
Veo. Ross
Caesar Rodney
Geo. Read
Tho. Mckean
Wm. Floyd
Phil. Livingston
Frans. Lewis
Lewis Morris
Richd. Stockton
Jno. Witherspoon
Fras. Hopkinson
John Hart
Abra. Clark
Josiah Bartlett
Wm. Whipple
Saml. Adams
John Adams
Robt. Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Step. Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
Wm. Williams
Oliver Wolcott
Matthew Thornton

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