The Volokh Conspiracy

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American Revolution

Reflections on the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution

A compendium of many of my previous writings on these topics, which remain relevant today.

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The Declaration of Independence.


Over the years, I have written a number of Independence Day pieces. Many of them have obvious continuing relevance to such issues as identity politics, nationalism, immigration, the role of slavery in American history, and others.

In this post, I compile what I hope will be a useful list of links to those works. Enjoy!

"The Declaration of Independence and the Case for Non-Ethnic Secession," July 4, 2009.

"The Declaration of Independence and the Case for a Polity Based on Universal Principles," July 4, 2017.

"The Universalist Principles of the Declaration of Independence," July 4, 2019.

"The Case Against the Case Against the American Revolution," July 4, 2019. A rebuttal to longstanding claims - advanced by critics on both right and left - that the Revolution did more harm than good

"Slavery, the Declaration of Independence and Frederick Douglass' 'What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?'", July 4, 2020. Douglass's famous speech sheds light on some of America's greatest evils - but also on the great good done by the Revolution and Founding.

"Juneteenth and the Universalist Principles of the American Revolution," June 19, 2021. Why there is no inconsistency in celebrating both July 4 and the abolition of slavery. Indeed, the two are mutually reinforcing.

"Immigration and the Principles of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 2021.

UPDATE: I have updated the above to include today's post on immigration and the Declaration.