Not all that much has changed over the past 200+ years of rule by plutocrats.  Even though millionaires make up only 1% of our nation’s population, for the past 30 years millionaires have comprised between 40 and 50% of Congress. And they do vote to protect and grow their own personal wealth and against the best interests of the majority of Americans.  It’s time to declare our independence.

How much has really changed in over 200 years?

Note:  Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and he did not release his 150 slaves until 50 years later in 1826 when he was on his death bed.

On the upcoming day of National Celebration, let’s look at those 56 signers of our Declaration of Independence and compare them to today’s plutocrats in Washington DC. Like today’s plutocrats, our forefathers were rich men. Like today’s plutocrats, many of them were graduates from Harvard or Yale (slightly more than 20% of them had graduated from Harvard or Yale). Less than half of them (17) fought in the Revolutionary War that they signed the citizens up for.

About one third of them were slave owners including 2 out of the three writers of the declaration: Thomas Jefferson owned over 150 slaves and Ben Franklin who owned two house servants.  [However, while Jefferson didn’t liberate his slaves until he was on his death bed, Franklin soon liberated his and became one of the fervid founding members of the Pennsylvania Abolition movement.]

It is also of some interest to note that the forefathers’ notion of “independence” was not extended to women or even to white men who did not own property.

For more detail on each of the signers, here are links for you:

Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George WaltonNorth Carolina:
William Hooper
John Penn
Joseph Hewes 

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Arthur Middleton

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

John Adams
Samuel Adams
John Hancock
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry

Charles Carroll
Samuel Chase
Thomas Stone
William Paca

Richard Henry Lee
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Jefferson

George Wythe

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross

Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKeanNew York:
Lewis Morris
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
William Floyd

New Jersey:
Abraham Clark
John Hart
Francis Hopkinson
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon

New Hampshire:
Joshiah Bartlett
Wiliam Whipple

Matthew Thornton
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery

Samuel Huntington
Roger Sherman
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire:
Joshiah Bartlett
Wiliam Whipple

Matthew Thornton

Liz Berry

Liz Berry