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Guide to the Declaration

The Guide provides supplimentary information about important questions raised by the Declaration, including:
  • What Makes the Declaration Unique?
  • What Is Equality?
  • What is the Basis for the Theory of the Declaration?

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For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.

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The Sugar Act of April 5, 1764, entrusted military courts--the courts of admiralty and vice-admiralty--with enforcing all acts of the British Parliament pertaining to commerce and related revenues. In 1768, the British government, partly in an effort to suppress smuggling, increased the number of these courts. All trials by such courts were conducted without juries. Americans regarded trial by jury as a necessary protection to the rights of individuals against the abuse of power by government. It meant that before the coercive power of government could be brought to bear against a man, it had to be approved by a body of men, most likely his neighbors, who are not government employees.

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