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According to Jefferson, what do the laws of nature and of nature's god entitle everyone...

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KelliRenae | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 10, 2013 at 2:34 AM via web

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According to Jefferson, what do the laws of nature and of nature's god entitle everyone to do?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 10, 2013 at 2:45 AM (Answer #1)

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From the way that you have phrased this, it sounds to me as if you are simply asking for the specific words that Jefferson writes, not for the general meaning of what he says.  I will, however, answer in both ways.

If you are just looking for the exact words of the Declaration, Jefferson begins the document with the following words:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them…

This makes it clear that what the laws of nature and nature’s god entitle people to is a “separate and equal station” “among the powers of the earth.”

So what does this mean?  It means that Jefferson believes that nature and God mean for people of various lands to be equal to one another.  He is saying that the colonists deserve to be independent (separate) of and equal to all other countries in the world.  He is saying that they are entitled by nature to be free and independent.  He is saying this about the country, not about the individual human beings.

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