Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
This quote is part of the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence (read the annotated text of the Declaration on Wikipedia).
What is the Meaning of "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." Quote
Jefferson was trying to say that everyone is equal and has certain rights that can't be taken away. He didn't need to prove it because it was already known and not up for debate.
For Jefferson, such statements were obviously true, as they were to most Americans of the time.
Being Christians, most Americans were familiar with the idea of human equality.
Even Jefferson said that his purpose in writing the Declaration of Independence was to reflect the common beliefs of the American people at the time.
What are Other Similar Quotes?
These words from the Declaration of Independence have inspired many around the world, and have been a staple phrase in human rights promotion.
These words have been used in France, India, China...
Here are some other equality quotes inspired by the words of Thomas Jefferson:
- Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. - Marquis de Lafayette, The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Paris, France, 1789
- Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. - Abraham Lincoln
Gettysburg Address, 1863
- We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil... - Independence Day Resolution passed by the Indian National Congress in 1930 (Declaration of Purna Swaraj)
- I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal'". - Martin Luther King, Jr., March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963
- Taking pride in the struggle of our people to gain independence and build the state, to free ourselves from tyranny, to affirm our free will... A political system... that guarantees respect for human rights and freedoms, independence of the judiciary, equality of rights and duties between all citizens, male and female, and equality between all regions - The Constitution of the Tunisian Republic, 2014