It started on a high note and with forceful, poetic language. Even now, more than two centuries later, the Declaration of Independence 1776 proclaims principles that are out of reach for large parts of humanity and pose a challenge for political leaders even in the so called advanced democracies of the world:
"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 - That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed ...".
The Declaration of Independence was followed by the Constitution of the United States of America in 1787, a constitution still in force.
In comparison, the history of Europe makes for grim reading until the end of World War II, and in Eastern Europe well beyond that.