Declarations to Secede from the United States, 1860-1861

Editor’s Note: From carefully wrought, grievance-filled declarations of causes, to concise cut-and-dried ordinances to secede, to (in the case of Tennessee) a full-fledged declaration of independence, in 1861 and 1862 the 13 Southern states issued a variety of official pronouncements  to declare that they were making a formal and final break from the United States and […]

Unilateral Declaration of Independence (Rhodesia, 1965)

Editor’s Note:  Not all Declarations of Independence are created equal.  Some lead to the enfranchisement of the great majority of a society, and others only advance the interests of a relatively small number within a populace. Even our vaunted July 4, 1776 declaration, while overwhelmingly supported by white Americans (especially white male Americans), could be […]

Negro Declaration of Independence, 1876

Editor’s Note: Crafted and issued on February 28, 1876 by the National Independent Political Union, headed by Garland H. White, a Baptist Minister and political activist from Weldon, North Carolina, this declaration was printed as a four-age leaflet in the immediate post-Civil War aftermath at a time when Black Americans were already becoming increasingly embittered […]

The Black Declaration of Independence (1970)

Editor’s Note: Though in some respects an adaptation of our July 4, 1776 Declaration, this time the tyrant is not King George but the endemic system of oppression and segregation that prevented Black Americans from being part of “all men are created equal.” The public proclamation issued by the National Committee of Black Churchmen on […]

African National Congress Freedom Charter (1955)

Editor’s Note:  On June 26, 1955, in Kliptown, South Africa, a ‘people’s congress,’ with several thousand attending, adopted this Charter — effectively a declaration (and it says so in the opening sentence) that calls for a non-racial democratic nation in which human rights, labor rights land reform are a centerpiece. While the ruling white South […]