The first principles of the American regime are codified in the natural law doctrine of the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta.
The principles of the Declaration of Independence
are the the principles of the Constitution.
- The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God
- Supreme Judge of the World
- Divine Providence.
- Individual Natural Right
- Individual Freedom or Liberty
- Consent of the Governed
- Just powers of government
- Self-evident truths
- Equality under the rule of law
- Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Adams, and Lincoln
What is American Conservatism?
The Declaration of Independence is a conservative document. American Conservatism is a philosophy which is rooted in the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, and the Founding Principles. Its purpose derives from natural law which is based on knowledge, experience, and wisdom of the past. Laws of nature exist and man is bound by them. They are not the ideals of men, but the reality of our universe. Human freedom allows man to disregard such laws, but he does so at his own peril.
The purpose of all government should be to secure the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The concept of a civil society is implicit in the Declaration of Independence. No one person has more authority over another than the other has over himself. Joining together through association to better secure these rights is a virtue of humanity. Those who form a civil society do so for their better security. Those who do not join such a society have no claim to the advantages of that society. A non-citizen who enjoys the protection of the laws of a country not his own incurs obligations in proportion to the benefits he enjoys.
A fundamental principle of our democratic republic of self-government is that it derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Supreme among Political Justice is the condition which must limit the wise legislator’s actions in a free society to the opinion of the governed. The principle of consent includes the opinion of the governed.