From Jacob G. Hornberger’s exceptional The Real Meaning of the Fourth of July:
“It’s easy to forget that the revolutionaries in 1776 were people who took up arms against their own government.
So how is it that these men are considered patriots? Well, the truth is that their government didn’t consider them patriots at all. Their government considered them to be bad guys – traitors, all of whom deserved to be hanged for treason.”
“…the real significance of the Fourth of July lies in the expression of what is undoubtedly the most revolutionary political declaration in history: that man’s rights are inherent, God-given, and natural and, thus, do not come from government.”
“All men – not just Americans – have been endowed by God and nature, not government, with fundamental and unalienable rights. Governments are called into existence by the people – and exist at their pleasure – for one purpose: to protect the exercise of these inherent rights.”
“What happens if a government that people have established becomes a destroyer, rather than a protector, of their rights? The Declaration provides the answer: It is the right of the people to alter or even abolish their government and establish new government whose purpose is the protection, not the destruction, of people’s rights and freedoms.”
“On the Fourth of July we celebrate the patriotism and courage of those English revolutionaries who were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in defense of the most revolutionary declaration of rights in history – that man’s rights come from God and nature, not from government.”