According to Professor Danielle Allen, the period leads to a misreading of the Declaration
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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ...
With the period, readers are left with the impression that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is unconnected to government's responsibility in securing those rights.
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,--That to secure these rights, Governments ...
With a comma, Americans' rights and government's role in securing those rights have equal weight as part of the same sentence. Allen argues that this is how it was written in the official parchment.
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|Title Annotation:||NATIONAL; Declaration of Independence|
|Publication:||New York Times Upfront|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Nov 17, 2014|
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