“All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.” Article 1, Part of the First, Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1780
One of John Adams’ most fervent criticisms of the newly written Constitution in 1787 was the absence of any assurance of individual rights. He believed that a declaration which detailed such guarantees should have been created prior to any revisions were made to the Articles of Confederation. It was well within his right to raise such a criticism because he had included that very type of a declaration in a document which he primarily authored in 1780. That document was the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
We will continue to explore the individual rights that Adams included in the document that was created while the battles of the American Revolution loomed on the horizon. Please take a moment to be thankful for the freedom which we sometimes take for granted. This “certain natural, essential, and unalienable right” is a part of What IS Right With America.
The attached image is of the shoreline at Cape Cod, Massachusetts