PEACETOPIAN MILESTONES

A holistic movement for a better world
has been evolving throughout history...

 

July 4, 1776 -
United States Declaration of Independence



"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."

The opening of the Preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", and for many historical figures, like Abraham Lincoln and others throughout the world, it represents the moral standard that governments should strive to live up to.

The Declaration of Independence was the document that declared America's independence from the British King. What made it a significant milestone is the reasoning justifying why the colonies were declaring their independence. When Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, he asserted ideas influenced by Age of Enlightenment philosophers like John Locke regarding 'natural rights' and 'natural law.' Natural rights are universal rights that apply to everyone, such as the equality of all people and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Natural rights are not subject to the beliefs, customs or laws of any particular government or society. These natural rights then become the basis for just legal rights and a system of governance based on a set of laws that enshrines the natural rights of all people. Governments gain their power to rule only by the consent of the people they govern. This is in direct contrast to the notion of a King having power because he is chosen by God. Because the King denied the American Colonies their natural rights, they in turn had the inherent right to revolt.

Today the concept of natural rights that all people possess has come to be known as 'human rights' and this concept of inherent basic rights continues to serve as the foundation for all visionary blueprints for creating a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Although the American Founding Fathers expressed the ideal that "all men are created equal", they meant it literally - women in the new country would not enjoy equal rights. It also left the concept of slavery vague and able to be interpreted as not including slaves, in order to accommodate the American colonies that allowed slavery. A century later, Abraham Lincoln however, would argue for the abolition of slavery based on the literal expression of this founding ideal of equality for all.


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MILESTONES

c.380 BC
"Republic"

1215
Magna Carta

1516
"Utopia"

1528
"On Civil Power"

1625
"On The Law
of War and Peace"

1648
Peace of Westphalia

1650-1799
Enlightenment

1689
"Two Treatises of Government"

1762
"Social Contract"

July 4, 1776
US Declaration of Independence

September 17, 1787
US Constitution

August 26, 1789
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

September 25, 1789
US Bill of Rights

1793
Department of Peace

1795
"Perpetual Peace"

May 18, 1899
Hague Peace Conference

1901
Nobel Peace Prize

January 8, 1918
14 Points

June 28, 1919
League of Nations

1933
The New Deal

January 6, 1941
The Four Freedoms

October 24, 1945
The United Nations

August, 1947
World Federalist Movement

December 10, 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1955
"Let There Be
Peace On Earth"

1956
The Beloved Community

1960-1963
The New Frontier

1963-1969
The Great Society

1970
Earth Day

October 11, 1971
"Imagine"

1981
International Day of Peace

1985
77 Theses on the Care of the Earth

1988
Global Cooperation for a Better World

1991
Earth Constitution

1992
UNESCO
Culture of Peace Programme

1992
"4000 Ideas & Dreams for a Better World"

1995
Earth Magna Charta

1995
"When Corporations Rule The World"

1996
"Peace On Earth Millennium"

1997
Appeal of the Nobel Laureates

1998
"Conscious Evolution"

May 11-15, 1999
Hague Appeal for Peace

January 1, 2000
One Day In Peace

June 29, 2000
The Earth Charter

September, 2000
Millennium Development Goals

January 25-30, 2001
World Social Forum

October, 2001
"Better World Handbook"

2005
Clinton Global Initiative

July 18, 2007
The Elders

September 17, 2011
Occupy Wall Street