19 October 2011 Last updated at 13:14 ET
Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal?
On Tuesday night, while Republican candidates in Nevada were debating such American issues as nuclear waste disposal and the immigration status of Mitt Romney’s gardener, American and British lawyers in Philadelphia were taking on a far more fundamental topic.
Namely, just what did Thomas Jefferson think he was doing?
Some background: during the hot and sweltering summer of 1776, members of the second Continental Congress travelled to Philadelphia to discuss their frustration with royal rule.
By 4 July, America’s founding fathers approved a simple document penned by Jefferson that enumerated their grievances and announced themselves a sovereign nation.
Called the Declaration of Independence, it was a blow for freedom, a call to war, and the founding of a new empire.
It was also totally illegitimate and illegal.
At least, that was what lawyers from the UK argued during a debate at Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Hall.
Read the full story here: BBC News Magazine
- Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal? (politics.ie)
- BBC News – Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal? (fourbluehills.com)
- VIDEO: Was Declaration of Independence legal? (bbc.co.uk)
- Declaration of Independence Was Illegal (newser.com)
- America’s Declaration ‘Illegal,’ U.K. Lawyers Say (foxnews.com)
- Was the US Declaration of Independence Legal? (neatorama.com)
- Why did Jefferson change declaration of independence to the pursuit of happiness (wiki.answers.com)