Chicago Relocation

“When in the course of human events” or “What does the Declaration of Independence have to do with real estate?”

July 3, 2009

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A few hours ago, over rice crispies with my six year old, we were discussing what The Fourth of July means.  Predictably, to my Katie it means a carnival, fireworks and staying up late. So of course when it was my turn I rattled off “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Like most Americans, her eyes glazed over.  She liked the “happiness” part though.  She’s six, so I’ll forgive her.  Although I do love that she calls the Union Jack the “sad flag” (she’s Irish!). So is there any correlation?

So is there a correlation?  Well, while we’ll give a nod to the Greeks for pioneering the idea of democracy, the founding fathers really did push the envelope.  While manifest destiny and the tabula rasa on the frontier was not truly accurate (we forgot about the native nations that happened to already live there), the concept of property rights vs. landed gentry and the whole “serf living on the kings land at his pleasure” concept was thrown out the window in the new world.  The government granted those who worked the land the right to own it, and with that came the right to sell it on an open and somewhat self-regulating market.  And that idea has really caught on.

Thank you, Mssrs. John Hancock, Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery, Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott, William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton, William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton.



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