The Revolutionary era required a new round of covenanting as the colonies reconstituted themselves as independent civil societies. Invariably they followed the customary patterns, albeit in the new secularized forms of declarations of rights and of (or in) constitutions. Thus, according to the Virginia Bill of Rights (1776):

All men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact deprive or divest their posterity, namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.