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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Opinion Essay

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Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I think we can all agree, are some of the reasons why our ancestors decided to come here in the first place. The Revolutionary War started when the colonists grew tired of how they felt about being treated unfairly and started to take measures to declare their independence from Britain. Being a patriot meant you agreed with the American Revolution in the 18th century embodied this, you chose to defend your rights. In the modern day, I feel the same can still be said, we protest, use the voices of people that can be heard to raise awareness for things of our liking, and stand our ground to be heard at all costs.

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One of those rights was doing as you wish with your property. This is why Patrick Henry’s speech 'Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death' Speech was so inspiring and accepted at the Virginia Convention, and why so many decided to support the Revolutionary War. Would you be okay with not having a say in taxation laws, especially if said taxes are unfair and oppressive? As the book states, “Locke argued that political authority did not derive from the divine right of kings or the inherited authority or aristocracies, but from the consent of the governed” (Ch.5, p.116). With the patriots, they wanted a say in how they were being governed and changed from the way the king governed. Living in the world we do today, can you imagine living in a country with a supreme leader that dictates basically everything? Colonists believed there should be no taxation without representation, and that Parliament only had the people that were physically in Britain’s interest at heart and the new colonies' money on their minds. Patriots did what they needed to do to bring awareness to their unhappiness, but the British government retaliated in an unforgivable way.

And the last argument in favor would be their fight for life and happiness which I feel goes hand in hand. “There is no retreat but in submission and slavery!” ('Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death'). In a way, I think it's contradictory that property included slaves, but it’s interesting how patriots related the taxes that kept being added to being a slave and how they'd rather fight for their justice or die trying. Present day I’d agree with their thinking, I wouldn’t want a leader that is not present in the same country as me or people not living here making the rules because they don’t know the daily issues or struggles that have to be dealt with, especially with new colonies. Present government that part of the daily running of government is most efficient and is what they fought for too.

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Opinion Essay. (2023, December 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Opinion Essay.” Edubirdie, 08 Dec. 2023,
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Opinion Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Feb. 2024].
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Opinion Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Dec 08 [cited 2024 Feb 22]. Available from:
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