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Bonifati Vorontsov
Bonifati Vorontsov

According To The Declaration Of Independence What Is The Primary Purpose Of Government

In fact, the very distance of the colonies from the Mother Country hadalready altered those rights, as well as the perceptions of the colonistsregarding rights of the individual in general. The frontier society ofthe American colonies had fostered a greater sense of individual autonomy,a sense that government should not interfere in the daily lives of itscitizens, and that the purpose of government is to secure and protect theliberty and property of its citizens. The seeds of these ideas clearlycould be found in English thought, but British government and law in theeighteenth century were slowly changing to give the King, and especiallyParliament, greater authority. Law, according to Sir William Blackstone,was the command of the sovereign.

according to the declaration of independence what is the primary purpose of government

After its petitions failed to secure redress, the Second ContinentalCongress voted to declare independence from England, and named John Adams,Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to draft a declaration. All threemen were familiar with English tradition, and each had thought at lengthabout the problems of government. But of the three, Jefferson was acknowledgedto possess the most facile pen, and his words caught the hopes and idealsof the American experiment.

The long list of grievances Jefferson marshalled to support his chargethat the king had violated his obligations to the people is hardly convincingto a modern reader, and like all good propagandists, Jefferson distortedhistory to serve his purposes. But if one reads the grievances carefully,they contain notions that are basic to American democracy: government isa compact among the people, and can be overthrown when it fails to fulfillits obligations; government exists to protect the rights and property ofits citizens; every person accused of a crime is entitled to trial by ajury of peers; the state cannot search the homes of its citizens withouta warrant; and taxes cannot be levied without the consent of the people.

From a constitutional point of view, the Declaration served severalpurposes. It enshrined the compact theory as the heart of the Americanphilosophy of government, not only for the revolutionary generation butfor succeeding ones as well. Long after the particular grievances againstGeorge III have been forgotten, the belief that government exists to preservethe rights of the people, and can be dissolved if it fails to do so, remainsa prime article of faith for Americans.

But even though the Declaration built upon generations of American andBritish experience, it went far beyond those ideas, and, in fact, as manymodern writers have noted, it is a radical statement in its view of thepurposes of government. As nation-states began emerging in Europe in thelate middle ages, the common assumption had been that governments existedto ensure order and protect the stability of society. But the Declarationof Independence, while not denying the need for order, asserts that theprime purpose of government is to protect the rights of the individual.For the first time, it is the individual and not the society that is paramount,and the success of government is to be measured not by how well societyis regulated, but by how free the individual is from government.

The development of American democracy has been, in many ways, an elucidationof the premises outlined in the Declaration of Independence: that certaintruths are self-evident, that people are created equal, that they are endowedwith inalienable rights, that governments derive their power from the consentof the governed and that the purpose of government is to protect theserights. Such sentiments have not lost their power to inspire men and womento this day. They are the mark of the successes of American democracy,as well as of its failures.

This clause of the Declaration is the link between the Declaration and the preamble to the United States Constitution. Justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty are all elements of our safety and happiness as an independent, self-governing people. The Constitution lays out exactly the form or structure of the government designed to achieve those purposes, replacing the Articles of Confederation, which had not achieved them, which in turn had replaced the regime of the British empire, which had violated them.

Soon after Jefferson arrived in Philadelphia, Congress assigned him to draft a document explaining why the colonists had taken up arms against England. Even at this late date, the Congress still blamed only Parliament and the king's government ministers, not King George himself, for the growing conflict. Jefferson's Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking Up Arms stopped short of declaring independence, but pointed out the folly of governing the American colonies from England.

Neither Parliament nor King George, however, were interested in negotiations to prevent all-out war. In August 1775, King George issued a proclamation charging that the Americans "had proceeded to open and avowed rebellion." A few months later, Parliament passed a significant act that placed the American colonies outside the king's protection. This act allowed the seizing of American ships, justified the burning of colonial towns, and led to sending war ships and troops, including foreign mercenaries, to put down the rebellion. Meanwhile, the royal governor of Virginia offered freedom to slaves who joined the British cause. These actions by the British king and government inflamed Americans who were undecided about independence and made war with England all but certain.

In May 1776, the Continental Congress took a fateful step and passed a resolution that attacked King George himself. This was not the first time in English history that such a thing had occurred. In 1688, Parliament had similarly denounced King James II. This led to the so-called Glorious Revolution, which drove James off the throne. Now, almost 100 years later, a formal declaration of independence by the Continental Congress was the only thing standing in the way of a complete break with King George.

Even before the Continental Congress declared independence, most colonies along with some towns, counties, and even private organizations had issued their own declarations. In most cases, these statements detailed British abuses of power and demanded the right of self-government.

On June 8, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to write a declaration of independence and quickly appointed a committee to draft a formal document. But the job of actually writing the draft fell to Thomas Jefferson, mainly because John Adams and other committee members were busy trying to manage the rapidly escalating war with England.

Working off and on while attending to other duties, Jefferson completed his draft of the declaration in a few days. He argued in his opening two paragraphs that a people had the right to overthrow their government when it abused their fundamental natural rights over a long period of time. Then in a direct attack on King George, Jefferson listed 20 instances when the king violated the rights of the American colonists. Having thoroughly laid out his proof that the king was a "tyrant" who was "unfit to be the ruler of a people," Jefferson continued on to condemn the British people. "These unfeeling brethren," he wrote, had reelected members of Parliament who had conspired with the king to destroy the rights of the colonists. Jefferson ended his draft by stating, "we do assert and declare these colonies to be free and independent states. . . ."

As a man of the Enlightenment, Jefferson was well acquainted with British history and political philosophy. He also had read the statements of independence drafted by Virginia and other colonies as well as the writings of fellow revolutionaries like Tom Paine and George Mason. In composing the declaration, Jefferson followed the format of the English Declaration of Rights, written after the Glorious Revolution of 1689.

The purpose of government, Locke wrote, is to secure and protect the God-given inalienable natural rights of the people. For their part, the people must obey the laws of their rulers. Thus, a sort of contract exists between the rulers and the ruled. But, Locke concluded, if a government persecutes its people with "a long train of abuses" over an extended period, the people have the right to resist that government, alter or abolish it, and create a new political system.

1 Pub. L. 104-191.2 65 FR 82462.3 67 FR 53182.4 45 C.F.R. 160.102, 160.103.5 Even if an entity, such as a community health center, does not meet the definition of a health plan, it may, nonetheless, meet the definition of a health care provider, and, if it transmits health information in electronic form in connection with the transactions for which the Secretary of HHS has adopted standards under HIPAA, may still be a covered entity.6 45 C.F.R. 160.102, 160.103; see Social Security Act 1172(a)(3), 42 U.S.C. 1320d-1(a)(3).The transaction standards are established by the HIPAA Transactions Rule at 45 C.F.R. Part 162.7 45 C.F.R. 160.103.8 45 C.F.R. 164.500(b).9 45 C.F.R. 160.103.10 45 C.F.R. 164.502(e), 164.504(e).11 45 C.F.R. 164.53212 45 C.F.R. 160.103.13 45 C.F.R. 160.10314 45 C.F.R. 164.502(d)(2), 164.514(a) and (b).15 The following identifiers of the individual or of relatives, employers, or household members of the individual must be removed to achieve the "safe harbor" method of de-identification: (A) Names; (B) All geographic subdivisions smaller than a State, including street address, city, county, precinct, zip code, and their equivalent geocodes, except for the initial three digits of a zip code if, according to the current publicly available data from the Bureau of Census (1) the geographic units formed by combining all zip codes with the same three initial digits contains more than 20,000 people; and (2) the initial three digits of a zip code for all such geographic units containing 20,000 or fewer people is changed to 000; (C) All elements of dates (except year) for dates directly related to the individual, including birth date, admission date, discharge date, date of death; and all ages over 89 and all elements of dates (including year) indicative of such age, except that such ages and elements may be aggregated into a single category of age 90 or older; (D) Telephone numbers; (E) Fax numbers; (F) Electronic mail addresses: (G) Social security numbers; (H) Medical record numbers; (I) Health plan beneficiary numbers; (J) Account numbers; (K) Certificate/license numbers; (L) Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers, including license plate numbers; (M) Device identifiers and serial numbers; (N) Web Universal Resource Locators (URLs); (O) Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers; (P) Biometric identifiers, including finger and voice prints; (Q) Full face photographic images and any comparable images; and any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code, except as permitted for re-identification purposes provided certain conditions are met. In addition to the removal of the above-stated identifiers, the covered entity may not have actual knowledge that the remaining information could be used alone or in combination with any other information to identify an individual who is subject of the information. 45 C.F.R. 164.514(b).16 45 C.F.R. 164.502(a).17 45 C.F.R. 164.502(a)(2).18 45 C.F.R. 164.502(a)(1).19 45 C.F.R. 164.506(c).20 45 C.F.R. 164.501.21 45 C.F.R. 164.501.22 45 C.F.R. 164.501.23 45 C.F.R. 164.508(a)(2)24 45 C.F.R. 164.506(b).25 45 C.F.R. 164.510(a).26 45 C.F.R. 164.510(b).27 45 C.F.R. 164.502(a)(1)(iii).28 See 45 C.F.R. 164.512.29 45 C.F.R. 164.512(a).30 45 C.F.R. 164.512(b).31 45 C.F.R. 164.512(a), (c).32 45 C.F.R. 164.512(d).33 45 C.F.R. 164.512(e).34 45 C.F.R. 164.512(f).35 45 C.F.R. 164.512(g).36 45 C.F.R. 164.512(h).37 The Privacy Rule defines research as, "a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge." 45 C.F.R. 164.501.38 45 C.F.R. 164.512(i).39 45 CFR 164.514(e).40 45 C.F.R. 164.512(j).41 45 C.F.R. 164.512(k).42 45 C.F.R. 164.512(l).43 45 C.F.R. 164.514(e). A limited data set is protected health information that excludes thefollowing direct identifiers of the individual or of relatives, employers, or household members ofthe individual: (i) Names; (ii) Postal address information, other than town or city, State and zipcode; (iii) Telephone numbers; (iv) Fax numbers; (v) Electronic mail addresses: (vi) Socialsecurity numbers; (vii) Medical record numbers; (viii) Health plan beneficiary numbers; (ix)Account numbers; (x) Certificate/license numbers; (xi) Vehicle identifiers and serial numbers,including license plate numbers; (xii) Device identifiers and serial numbers; (xiii) Web UniversalResource Locators (URLs); (xiv) Internet Protocol (IP) address numbers; (xv) Biometricidentifiers, including finger and voice prints; (xvi) Full face photographic images and anycomparable images. 45 C.F.R. 164.514(e)(2).44 45 C.F.R. 164.508.45 A covered entity may condition the provision of health care solely to generate protected health information for disclosure to a third party on the individual giving authorization to disclose the information to the third party. For example, a covered entity physician may condition the provision of a physical examination to be paid for by a life insurance issuer on an individual's authorization to disclose the results of that examination to the life insurance issuer. A health plan may condition enrollment or benefits eligibility on the individual giving authorization, requested before the individual's enrollment, to obtain protected health information (other than psychotherapy notes) to determine the individual's eligibility or enrollment or for underwriting or risk rating. A covered health care provider may condition treatment related to research (e.g., clinical trials) on the individual giving authorization to use or disclose the individual's protected health information for the research. 45 C.F.R. 508(b)(4).46 45 CFR 164.532.47 "Psychotherapy notes" means notes recorded (in any medium) by a health care provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing the contents of conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint, or family counseling session and that are separated from the rest of the of the individual's medical record. Psychotherapy notes excludes medication prescription and monitoring, counseling session start and stop times, the modalities and frequencies of treatment furnished, results of clinical tests, and any summary of the following items: diagnosis, functional status, the treatment plan, symptoms, prognosis, and progress to date.45 C.F.R. 164.501.48 45 C.F.R. 164.508(a)(2).49 45 C.F.R. 164.501 and 164.508(a)(3).50 45 C.F.R. 164.502(b) and 164.514 (d).51 45 C.F.R. 164.520(a) and (b). A group health plan, or a health insurer or HMO with respect to the group health plan, that intends to disclose protected health information (including enrollment data or summary health information) to the plan sponsor, must state that fact in the notice. Special statements are also required in the notice if a covered entity intends to contact individuals about health-related benefits or services, treatment alternatives, or appointment reminders, or for the covered entity's own fundraising.52 45 C.F.R. 164.520(c).53 45 C.F.R. 164.520(d).54 45 C.F.R. 164.520(c).55 45 C.F.R. 164.524.56 45 C.F.R. 164.501.57 A covered entity may deny an individual access, provided that the individual is given a right to have such denials reviewed by a licensed health care professional (who is designated by the covered entity and who did not participate in the original decision to deny), when a licensed health care professional has determined, in the exercise of professional judgment, that: (a) the access requested is reasonably likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the individual or another person; (b) the protected health information makes reference to another person (unless such other person is a health care provider) and the access requested is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to such other person; or (c) the request for access is made by the individual's personal representative and the provision of access to such personal representative is reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to the individual or another person.


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