The Valpo Core Reader


Dawn Jeglum

Document Type

Freshman Seminar Essay

Publication Date



The United States was initially settled by colonists who wished to escape both religious and political persecution. They sought a place where they could freely express their religious ideas and participate in their own government to a larger degree. When the time came for the colonists to choose a system of government, they chose democracy and wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as the foundation for their new government. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are major achievements, sustaining even today our sense of national pride and patriotism. The Declaration of Independence is based on three principles or ideals: human rights, political participation, and limited government. Perhaps the most important of these three, because it can be used as a means of achieving the other two principles, is political participation.