How did the actions taken by the federal government during times of war illustrate the value of the Declaration of Independence?  

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The actions that our government has sometimes taken during times of war show how important the Declaration of Independence is to us. During times of war, the government has taken steps to reduce our freedom. For example, during World War I, the government passed the Sedition Act that made public opposition to the war illegal. It was illegal to criticize the government or the President. The Espionage Act made antiwar activities illegal. Most people accepted these restrictions because winning the war was important. Most people understood that public opposition to the war would send the wrong message to the leaders of the countries that we were fighting.

The Declaration of Independence states that all people have certain inalienable rights that can’t be taken away from us. These include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The document goes on to say that when the government doesn’t protect our rights, the people must change the government. If the government can reduce our rights during times of war, the government could also reduce our rights during times of peace. The Declaration of Independence makes it clear what the people need to do when the government doesn’t protect our rights. While people may accept some restrictions while we are fighting a war, they can’t let the government reduce our rights under normal circumstances. The Declaration of Independence clearly makes that point.

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