31 The Words of Thomas Jefferson

ration was written by common people who wished to kick out a king and govern themselves. The Dutch dec- laration was written by men who wished to kick out a bad king from another country so they could be ruled by a king of their own choosing. When the Americans won their independence from King George, the idea that people could elect their own rulers to govern themselves spread throughout Europe. Soon, revolution erupted in France. In 1789, an assembly of French citizens adopted the “Declaration of the Rights Statue of William of Orange, the Dutch prince who led a war for independence from Spain in the late 16th century. The Dutch wrote their own declaration of independence, the Act of Abjuration, nearly 200 years before the American Revolution.

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