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Monday, 7 October 2013

The unanimous Declaration of the twelve Parishes of Jersey


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, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Parishes; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present States of Jersey is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these Parishes. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
  • For abolishing the free System of Common Law, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, so as to render it an instrument for introducing absolute rule into these Parishes:
  • For altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  • For combining with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; gaining Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  • They have made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  • For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  • They are at this time transporting large Armies of foreign workers to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Government of a civilized nation.
  • They have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Crimes which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these Parishes:
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A legislature whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the government of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Trustees. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Public of the united Parishes of Jersey, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Parishes, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Parishes are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent Parishes; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the States of Jersey, and that all political connection between them and the States of Jersey, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent Parishes, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent Parishes may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.