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tv   Legends Lies The Patriots  FOX News  January 1, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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>> previously on "legends and lies: the patriots"... >> let us declare our independence. >> fire! [ gunshots ] >> you have fought and triumphed together. >> what is to become of us now? >> our nation is on the verge of collapse because we are not truly one nation. >> of course virginia
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would propose such a plan. the largest states would hold all the power. >> i would rather have a monarch again than a tyranny of the states. >> without compromise, we cannot be secure both here and abroad. >> new jersey would welcome a true compromise. >> please join me in affixing your name to our constitution. >> long live george washington, president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> so let me warn you against the spirit of party by which unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people. [ horse neighs ] >> a magistrate! is there a magistrate here, please? this is an illegal arrest.
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please, you must help me. please. please. oh! oh. help me! [ horse whinnies ] for the love of god, help me. >> what was that all about? >> that was the vice president, aaron burr. >> gentlemen, please. for the love of god, help me. >> ♪ my country, 'tis of thee ♪ sweet land of liberty ♪ land where my fathers died ♪ land of the pilgrims' pride ♪ from every mountainside
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♪ let freedom ring >> pushed to their limits by an oppressive empire... a determined group of rebels unites under the cause of liberty. their quest for freedom will unify a people, ignite a revolution, and forge a new system of government. in time, these brave men and women will come to be known as the american patriots. >> [ breathing laboredly ] >> the united states of america, born in revolution, shaped by honorable leaders and noble ideas. as the country matures,
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leaders become politicians and friends turn into enemies. but behind every politician stands a man. and behind every legend lies the truth. >> [ weakly ] please, doctors. >> for 8 years, the steady hand of george washington guides the united states through its infancy as a nation. when he steps down, washington's fellow founders attempt to fill the gap in leadership. but with politics becoming more polarized, those men are in danger of leading the country astray. as the father of the country nears death, america is in crisis. and the world's greatest experiment in self-government is in danger of perishing along with its first president. >> [ sobs ] >> three copies! every day the publisher of this rag sends me three copies just to make sure i see his insults!
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>> "a funeral dirge of george washington." >> the seeds of division are planted during washington's presidency with a power struggle between treasury secretary alexander hamilton and secretary of state thomas jefferson. >> now, the founding fathers, one thing they did agree on is that they did not want political parties. but no sooner than do they create this government then we have the first major split between federalists supporting hamilton and the president's agenda and the democratic-republicans supporting jefferson. >> washington doesn't expect his deputies to agree on everything. but he expects them to work for the nation's benefit together. jefferson refuses to listen. he works with his friends in the press to try to undercut washington's administration. and washington leaves at the end of his second term with great fear
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for what would happen if this partisanship continued to spiral out of control. >> my god, i would rather be in my grave than spend one more minute in this office. >> mr. president, i... >> the men who write and publish these papers must think me a fool. but you know me better than that, don't you, mr. jefferson? >> john adams is elected president but he takes over at a turbulent time. america is on the brink of another international conflict. france is at war with great britain. and french ships capture american vessels trading with england,
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leading hamilton's federalists to call for war with france. >> john adams is a federalist and thomas jefferson a democratic-republican. but when they both run for president, jefferson becomes vice president to adams. this is because the founders did not account for political parties. the candidate with the most electoral votes becomes president and second place, vice president. as a result, adams is caught in the middle of jefferson's party rivalry with alexander hamilton. >> [ sighs ] my cabinet is pressing for a standing army and a declaration of war with france. >> your cabinet [clears throat] is nothing more than a collection of federalist puppets with alexander hamilton pulling their strings. >> it was the cunning of hamilton which turned the government over to anti-republican hands.
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a little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people recovering their true sight. >> thomas, i thought this obsession of yours had ended. after all we've been through, you would not treat me the same as you treat washington and hamilton. thomas? >> jefferson's fears are justified. adams' cabinet is made up of holdovers from washington's administration, all federalists who answer to hamilton, including secretary of war james mchenry. >> colonel hamilton, or should i say general hamilton. >> tell me, do you think adams
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will form the army? >> he's resistant. but it will happen. and when it does, adams will want washington at the head of it. >> when hamilton was faced with john adams as now head of the federalist party, hamilton did not take that well. and hamilton's ambition, hamilton's jealousy toward adams came to the fore. >> but his excellency is far to old to command from the field. he will give his command to a trusted friend, someone perhaps he once thought of as a son. >> hamilton's goal -- use the threat of war with france to create a standing army and take command. the federalist-controlled congress gives hamilton what he wants, a 10,000-man national military. with president adams in control
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of an army, jefferson and the democratic-republicans fear a return to british-style monarchy. >> the will of the people is firmly against war with france. and if the federalists are going to ignore that rule, it's gonna fall to us republicans to defend it. >> defend it with what, mr. lyon? with that same wooden sword that you were given for cowardice in the war? >> [ spits ] >> you! [ men clamoring ] >> ah! [ insects chirping ] >> with the country split over war with france, thomas jefferson escalates the division, attacking john adams in the tabloid press, accusing him of being hamilton's puppet. >> thomas jefferson and the democratic-republican press start to really vehemently criticize adams. that is when the federalists push through the congress and john adams signs the alien and sedition acts.
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anyone who wrote or uttered anything against the president of the united states or the u.s. government was committing a federal crime. >> what is the meaning of this? >> congress demands it. i had no choice. >> no choice. you are the president. >> and you are my vice president or have you forgotten? >> the men who once worked side by side to create a nation are now bitter rivals. and the political clash threatens to split america in two. george washington's worst fears are being realized. as the nation reaches a crisis point, the father of the country lies near death from what starts as a common cold. >> cold developed something
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deeper and deeper, probably pneumonia. and then the doctors came in, they bled him. they did terrible things to him trying to heal him, trying to bring him back to health. >> [ weakly ] doctors, please. let me go. 'tis well. [ wheezes ] >> [ sobs ] >> here was the guy who had been called the father of his country before there was a country. he was crucial. he had to be first president or this thing wasn't gonna work. and now he dies. >> the century that gives birth to america closes with the death of its father.
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the future of the country is up for grabs. and its survival hangs in the balance. ♪ [ gunshot ] take one.
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♪ >> [ sobs ] >> as george washington passes into history and the 19th century begins, the fate of the american experiment rests on a bitterly divisive election -- john adams versus his own vice president, thomas jefferson. >> there's no great national father. and now it's just the sons slugging it out against each other. and these sons, in their minds, are battling for the -- the very thing that they've given their lives to -- the future of america. >> to have any hope of winning, adams must salvage his failing presidency. he starts by ridding his cabinet of alexander hamilton's influence. >> mr. president, you wanted to see me? >> mr. mchenry, yes.
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[ clears throat ] i know that you are merely the pawn of alexander hamilton, a man devoid of every moral principle. and to think i was saddled with you and the rest of his creatures as my cabinet! now leave! >> adams finally takes charge of his administration, dismantling hamilton's army and pursuing peace with france. but it may already be too late. jefferson has the southern states locked down. but to win decisively, he needs a northern state, as well. jefferson targets new york and an influential former senator named aaron burr.
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>> aaron burr had a lot of allies in the state legislature. he had a lot of friends in new york city. if jefferson could get aaron burr and his new york friends on his side, aaron burr might well be his ticket to winning the election. >> once we fought to rid ourselves of unjust taxes and tyranny! now we have a president who levies taxes for a federalist army! is this not tyranny?! >> yes! >> but we have the means to defeat it! vote, gentlemen, vote! serve your country! >> if burr can sway new york for the republicans, he'll earn his spot as jefferson's running mate. but burr is opposed by his greatest rival, alexander hamilton. while not running himself, hamilton wants to stop burr and deliver new york for the federalists.
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>> best of luck to you, colonel burr. >> and to you, general hamilton. after all, it's only politics. >> burr and hamilton, they're -- they're really kind of opposite sides of the same coin. these two guys were friends. in fact, the battle of long island, aaron burr saves alexander hamilton's life. but, of course, things would go bad once you enter politics and ambition into the situation. >> you remember the senate race 9 years ago when you defeated my father-in-law? >> well, of course i do. >> your opponent was a man of character. he served his country with honor. his ideas and principles could've benefited this nation. >> ideas and policies make for fine reading. character and honor, i'm sure, make for a fine father-in-law. but, like i said, this is politics. >> burr is unprincipled both
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as a public and private man. he is for or against nothing but as it suits his interests or ambition. i feel it a religious duty to oppose his career. >> for decades, the lives of aaron burr and alexander hamilton intersect. both are orphans and revolutionary war heroes. both become lawyers in new york city. sometimes friends, sometimes enemies, they are two brilliant, ambitious, and flawed men who push each other to the edge. the difference between them is that hamilton, like jefferson and adams, is a man of ideas while burr is a pure politician. >> burr scores a point in his rivalry with hamilton securing the new york vote for jefferson and the place as his running mate. the battle lines are drawn as the election of 1800 heats up. >> we like to think of american politics now
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as really dirty and vicious. to go back and look at the election of 1800, the mudslinging there is extreme even by today's standards. >> the attacks cripple adams' campaign and the entire federalist party, just as john adams is settling into the new executive mansion and the votes to decide its occupant come in. >> it is a fine house. a bit drafty. >> are you here to measure the drapes? >> i have defeated you. it's true. 73 electoral votes to 65. only, i have tied... with aaron burr. >> [ laughs ] >> this isn't a joke, john. >> the democratic-republicans, they were supposed to have everybody voting for jefferson
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and then have, uh, aaron burr come up with one vote short so he'd be the vice president. but they screwed it up. >> with the electoral college tied between thomas jefferson and aaron burr, the election of 1800 goes to the house of representatives. if burr can win the support of the federalists in congress, he could steal the presidency. for years, jefferson has played politics to get what he wants, alienating many along the way, an approach that could now backfire. >> the federalists in congress will try to ally with burr. but you have the power to stop that. >> i shall help no man steal the presidency, least of all you! >> the fate of the country now rests in the hands of a bitterly divided congress. and, as politics turn personal, it's only a matter of time before blood is shed. [ two gunshots ]
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>> locked in a tie for the presidency, running mates aaron burr and thomas jefferson now face off in a battle to become commander-in-chief. >> i thought you were in new york. do you have some business with the congress? >> i have some personal business. >> i see. >> i never, indeed, thought burr an honest, frank-dealing man
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but considered him as a crooked gun or other perverted machine whose aim or stroke you could never be sure of. well, remember the enemy wishes to sow discord between the two of us. but know that i hold you in the greatest respect and esteem. >> and i, you. >> according to the constitution, you got a tie of the presidency, the election goes to the house of representatives, which meant that now the federalists, largely controlled by alexander hamilton, were now going to decide -- which was it gonna be, jefferson or burr? >> facing the prospect of one of his two biggest rivals as president, hamilton once again steps in to manipulate events. >> now, hamilton did not like jefferson. they totally disagreed about just about everything.
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but he trusted him. he did not trust aaron burr. >> hamilton wrote to federalists in congress and said, "switch your vote. vote for jefferson. he may not be the best man for the job. but he's a lot better than burr." [ applause ] >> thanks to hamilton's intervention, congress chooses jefferson as president and burr as vice president. >> is it true? >> is what true? >> the rumor of you and your slave. >> the historical irony is that now jefferson is facing a disagreeable press, publishing potentially slanderous things about him, that is that jefferson
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has borne children out of wedlock by one of his slaves, sally hemings. >> thomas jefferson's wife died shortly after childbirth. sally hemings was the half-sister of his wife. and i imagine that sally hemings looked a lot like his deceased wife. >> when i served in the senate in philadelphia, my wife, theodosia, remained in new york. i, too, found solace in the arms of a servant. >> and why are you telling me this? >> to let you know that i understand. i may be of use to you. >> i have made my use of you. >> as rumors of a relationship between thomas jefferson and sally hemings grow from quiet whispers to a public weapon for his enemies, jefferson refuses to speak about the subject. in fact, he never publicly confirms or denies the story.
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to this day, there's no definitive proof that jefferson fathered children with sally hemings. but some evidence, including dna testing of their heirs, indicates the rumors could be true. >> i must say, jefferson, i... >> it is "mr. president." you tried to steal that title from me once before. and i will not let it fall within your grasp again. good day, sir. >> thomas jefferson's rise to power comes at the expense of many careers, including his own vice president's. shut out of power, aaron burr will put his life on the line to get it back. ♪ i wanted to know who i am and where i came from. i did my ancestrydna and i couldn't wait to get my pie chart. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american.
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>>
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>> though still vice president, aaron burr is blocked from power by thomas jefferson.
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and he seeks vengeance for those who have wronged him. to regain his political status, burr runs for governor of new york. like burr, alexander hamilton's power is diminished by thomas jefferson's victory. but he can still use his influence in new york politics to keep burr from becoming governor. >> to the next election, gentlemen. >> new york, as big a town as it was, wasn't big enough for the egos of both aaron burr and alexander hamilton. it was inevitable that they were gonna come into confrontation with one another. >> colonel burr is a dangerous man. >> he is more despicable than even you know. take heed, gentlemen. i have it on good authority that the colonel's eye for the ladies may even extend to his own family -- his daughter. >> it is not known precisely what alexander hamilton says about aaron burr to trigger their duel.
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some historians believe it's gossip about burr's immoral behavior, which is rampant at the time. whatever it is, burr's belief that hamilton is speaking behind his back is enough to offend his honor and cause him to challenge alexander hamilton to a duel. [ insects chirping ] >> [ laughs ] >> did you know, my dear, that this house was george washington's headquarters in '76? hmm? and i was one of his aides. >> hmm. >> but it was tedious beyond belief. it's no wonder hamilton loved him so. >> hmm, alexander hamilton. >> hmm. >> he's so dull and honorable. >> you think hamilton is honorable?
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and i am not? political opposition can never absolve gentlemen from the necessity of a rigid adherence to the laws of honor and the rules of decorum. thank you for helping me see what i must do. >> burr, when he challenges hamilton to a duel, that is very emotionally fraught for hamilton. his son had been killed in a duel defending his father's honor. uh, hamilton was disgusted by duels. but in those days,
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when you get challenged to a duel, you cannot decline. >> the feud explodes when the founding father and the sitting vice president meet at a popular dueling ground -- across the hudson in new jersey, where the punishment for dueling is less severe. >> each man felt that his political star was in decline. if they had been on the ascent, if they saw that things were getting better, then they just could've brushed it off. but duels were the kinds of things that men, who saw themselves as less than they once had been, engaged in to remind the world that they were important. >> gentlemen, are you ready? >> ready.
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>> stop! >> ah! >> the only answer now is to declare our independence! >> america is at war, dr. franklin. >> welcome home. >> for more revealing stories on these and other patriots featured in "legends & lies," purchase the companion book, available at billoreilly.com and bookstores nationwide. my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis made a simple trip to the grocery store anything but simple. so i had an important conversation with my dermatologist about humira. he explained that humira works inside my body to target and help block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to my symptoms. in clinical trials, most adults taking humira were clear or almost clear, and many saw 75% and even 90% clearance in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened;
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>> gentleman, are you ready? >> ready. >> political divisions are now personal for aaron burr and alexander hamilton. their duel is a desperate attempt to hold on to power in a country moving forward without them. >> stop! this will do. we may proceed.
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>> present! >> [ echoing ] best of luck to you, colonel burr. >> and to you, general hamilton. after all, it's only politics. >> hamilton! >> i'm a dead man. [ breathing heavily ] this is a mortal wound, doctor. >> before the duel, alexander hamilton writes in a letter that he plans to "throw away his shot,"
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a common practice in duels. those who wish to maintain their honor while leaving room for reconciliation will deliberately miss their target. we will never know if it's hamilton's final choice to purposefully miss. but we do know that burr does not miss, hitting hamilton squarely in the gut, whether he intended to or not. >> burr's shot shreds hamilton's abdomen and lodges in his spine, paralyzing him. he's taken back to new york, where, after 31 agonizing hours, he finally dies. >> vice president aaron burr, this guy who killed the former secretary of the treasury, a founding father, flees new york city,
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flees new jersey, and goes back to washington, d.c. then he serves out his term as vice president. >> with no chance of regaining power in government, burr heads west. for nearly 2 years, he meets with potential accomplices and concocts plans, which some believe involve waging war against america. >> burr is unprincipled. whose aim or stroke you could never be sure of. >> we want to rid ourselves of unjust taxes! is this not tyranny! tyranny! you think hamilton's honorable? and i am not? and i am not? >> as aaron burr travels around the west raising money, buying land, and attracting followers, rumors start back east that he's trying to found a new country and overthrow the american government. though burr's actual goal is more likely a private invasion of mexico,
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thomas jefferson believes the rumors and demands burr be arrested and tried for treason. >> burr is spotted in a small town, barely recognizable in a beard and disheveled clothing -- disguise or an outward sign of how far he's fallen. >> are you colonel aaron burr? >> who's asking? >> oof! ah! unhand me! >> you're under arrest for the crime of treason against the united states of america! >> no! no! >> aaron burr is dragged back to richmond, virginia, to stand trial for treason. to defeat the treason charges, burr must clean himself up
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and return to his old charming self in court, now an enemy of the state. if president jefferson gets his way, aaron burr will hang for his crimes. look at this... a silicon valley server farm. the vault to man's greatest wonders... selfies, cat videos and winking emojis. speaking of tech wonders, with the geico app you can get roadside assistance, digital id cards... or even file a claim. do that.. yeah, yeah that should work. it's not happening... just try again. uh, i think i found your problem. thanks. hmm... the award-winning geico app. download it today.
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we... probably still want those. yeah, good call. file your taxes for free with credit karma tax. >> former vice president aaron burr stands trial, not for killing alexander hamilton, but for treason, accused by president thomas jefferson of trying to start a war against america. [ gavel bangs ] >> in a trial for the high crime of treason, one question must be answered -- did the accused commit an overt act of war? >> burr placed himself into a state of war with this country. it would be a great and glorious virtue to see this traitor dead. >> six months ago, our president proclaimed that there was a war, and i was the instigator of it.
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and yet for 6 months, they've been hunting for it and still cannot find one spot where it existed. >> i'm inclined to agree with colonel burr. >> burr, ultimately, was acquitted. and it frustrated jefferson, who was doing his best to get burr convicted. but burr was a clever lawyer. so he gets off. >> despite his acquittal, burr is finished in american politics and goes into exile in europe. thomas jefferson soon retires, allowing the next generation to steer america into the future. nearly 30 years after victory in the revolutionary war, the men who fought for independence are almost all gone.
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only john adams and thomas jefferson remain. and they haven't corresponded since the election of 1800. >> "i wish you, sir, many happy new years. you and i have passed our lives in serious times. we ought not to die until we have explained ourselves to each other." >> after a decade of silence, john adams sends thomas jefferson a letter. as they write back and forth for the next 14 years, their old friendship is rekindled. >> they will never meet again. but they will see each other on paper and have a tremendous dialogue. and as both of them near the end of their lives,
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they begin to think about the legacy of the american revolution. >> everywhere we look, we see the names of our friends that we've lost. soon, it will be our time to go, as well. >> despite their political and personal differences, jefferson, adams, and their fellow founders come together when it matters, creating an enduring legacy for america. [ insects chirping ] >> [ breathing laboredly ] what day is it?
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>> it's the 4th, father. >> it is a great day. it is a good day. >> john adams is dying. and 500 miles south, thomas jefferson is facing his end, as well. >> thomas jefferson... survives. >> five and a half hours after jefferson's death, adams' heart stops. he has no way of knowing
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that jefferson has already passed. >> john adams and thomas jefferson die on the same day, which is remarkable in and of itself. but they die on july 4, 1826, which is the 50th anniversary of that declaration of independence that they crafted together. >> with the deaths of john adams and thomas jefferson, the revolutionary era has truly come to an end. [ cheers and applause ] though political and personal divisions threaten to destroy the country in its early years, the constructs of american government, established by the constitution and bill of rights, proves stronger than those threats. [ bell tolls ] [ gunshots ] while the american experiment survives its early tests, the struggle for liberty is not over. it will soon take a brutal civil war to bring the nation closer to the promise of the declaration of independence,
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that all men are created equal. >> independence forever.
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