First Principles of Liberty: Know Them! Use Them! Teach Them!

View every action of every level of gov’t through these!

First principles: the foundation of American freedom and liberty. Rejecting the oppression of their British rulers, America’s Founding Fathers established the American republic on our First Principles to secure our freedom and liberty.

We are the only nation with a unique creed of liberty based on the self-evident truths that all men and women are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; and that governments are instituted to protect those rights and derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Stated differently, America was founded on certain First Principles:

♦ The rule of law is a First Principle that mandates that the law governs everyone.
♦ The First Principle of unalienable rights recognizes that everyone is naturally endowed by their Creator with certain rights.
Equality is a First Principle that recognizes that all persons are created equal.
♦ The First Principle of the Social Compact recognizes that governments are instituted by the people and derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
♦ The First Principle of limited government means that the protection of unalienable rights is the legitimate purpose and limit of government and requires the government to be strong enough to fulfill its purpose – yet limited to that purpose.
♦ Final First Principle – the right to declare revolution when the other First Principles are being routinely and repeatedly infringed by the government over the objections of the People.

Our Declaration of Independence declares these foundational principles as the philosophical underpinning of the American Revolution. Once independence was secured, the Founders labored to ensure that the Constitution was the embodiment of a government based on these First Principles.