They turned the world on its head by declaring an abrupt end to the long historical subservience of people to their governments. They proclaimed instead the moral and philosophical basis of an entirely new concept – the sovereign individual. The world was forever changed on July 4th, 1776.
The principles articulated in the Declaration are so simple and so consistent with a clear and objective view of human nature and morality that they resonated not only with 18th Century Americans, but with the huddled masses around the world who yearned to be free of their elitist oppressors.
Some will argue that despite these revolutionary ideas, America never achieved the perfection it aspired to, nor has it ever completely treated all people as coequals in this revolution.
Both arguments are correct. People are imperfect, and are prone to interpreting “truths” imperfectly. But wisdom grows over time if we keep our minds open and commit ourselves to finding truth. Our society is learning that equality must apply to all genders and to all races, or it does not truly apply to anyone.