International Aspects of German Racial Policies

By Oscar I. Janowsky; Melvin M. Fagen | Go to book overview

memorable Fourth of July, I776, declared that they held certain "truths to be self-evident." What are these truths? "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." Moreover, they held, and so declared, that the aim and purpose of government was to protect these "unalienable rights." And therefore "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

This conception of human rights, subsequently embodied in the Constitution of the United States, became, in the course of time, the conception of all of the Republics of the American Continent. The truth of this statement is evidenced not only by their constitutions but by a Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Nations which was adopted on January 6th, I9I6, by the American Institute of International Law, a scientific body whose members comprise leading authorities on international law in the Western World. This declaration contains a preamble from which quotations of some length must be made. In it the members of the Institute affirmed that "the municipal law of civilized nations recognizes and protects the right to life, the right to liberty, the right to the pursuit of happiness as added by the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, the right to legal equality, the right to property, and the right to the enjoyment of the aforesaid rights." They further declared that "these fundamental rights, thus universally recognized, create a duty on the part of the peoples of all nations to observe them." With respect to the nature and purpose of government they added that "according to the political philosophy of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, and the universal practice of the American Republics, nations or governments are re

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