Essay On Declaration Of Independence

(This was the standard line of hawks within the British government.) Rather, independence was rendered by the despotic measures of the British government.Hence the crucial significance of the list of grievances, to which the second paragraph served as a theoretical prelude.

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The conclusion unequivocally states that the colonies “ought to be FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.” conclusion, openly declare themselves enemies to the British crown.

The word “ought”, used twice in the conclusion, implies moral correctness and makes a final appeal to Natural Law. Its authors call upon divine intervention to aid their cause and appeal to God in order to persuade the nations of the world of the justness of their act.

But Boyd goes on to argue that John Adams probably suggested the revision.

Fortunately, none of this matters for my purpose here, since Jefferson obviously agreed with the change, regardless of whose idea it was.

We now return to the original question that has generated a cottage industry for historians and philosophers: What did Jefferson mean by “self-evident”?

One good thing about writing overviews of complex subjects is that I can plead space limitations to avoid getting bogged down in technicalities.Interpretation: It’s important to remember that the primary audience was not King George, but the world.In order to make their cause just, enlist the help of foreign powers, and win the sympathy of British commoners, the document’s writers needed to clearly state their cause and clearly state King George’s misdeeds. His original draft includes several more grievances than the final copy, many of which were obscure and unknown even to the most ardent supporters of American Independence.* *For an excellent treatment on the origins of the Declaration, check out Pauline Maier’s outstanding work.In later life Jefferson characterized the Declaration’s political principles as “an expression of the American mind.” It was not his intention to invent new principles but merely to summarize the principles that were widely accepted in America and that constituted the When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.It should be kept in mind that the Declaration did not actually declare the independence of the American colonies from Great Britain; this occurred on July 2, 1776, two days before the Declaration was approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 4.At this stage of composition, before substantial changes were made by Congress, we may safely assume that revisions were made primarily for stylistic reasons.For example, a phrase in the Rough Draft, “rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness,” became “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”–a definite stylistic improvement without any change of meaning.It fell to Jefferson, as part of a five-man committee, to explain and justify this momentous decision.Jefferson’s use of the word “impel” is significant, as is his use of “necessary.” Jefferson didn’t feel the need to justify the Lockean principles expressed in the second paragraph, since he believed they were ), many of these Americans were either undecided about independence or opposed it outright.The Declaration was addressed as much to these people as it was to “mankind” at large.Jefferson wished to convince fence-sitters and skeptics that independence was not a reckless scheme hatched by hotheaded, seditious radicals who were eager to grab power for themselves.


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