The 4 Parts of the Declaration of Independence That Comprise Jefferson's Creation
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.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Its purpose was to declare the 13 colonies in America free and independent from Great Britain, get other colonists on board, and to encourage other nations to help them. Jefferson not only wrote how they were splitting from Britain, but he also gave thorough reasoning as to why they should be allowed to do so. In order to do that he used deductive logic in this document. In addition, many people wonder if the declaration had been developed in a different format, such as a series or syllogistic arguments, how persuasive it would be. From a literary perspective, it would not have been as persuasive as the original document. Another reason why the declaration is so persuasive is that Jefferson uses friendly, brotherly language to show his unity to them. The reason why the Declaration of Independence is so persuasive is that Jefferson uses deductive arguments, which includes examples of Britain’s wrong doings, which gives the person reading the document a chance to see exactly why they are breaking from Great Britain. One of the strongest deductive arguments in the declaration is, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men”. This means that any legitimate government is created to protect peoples’ rights such as, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. Throughout the declaration Jefferson shows how Great Britain is not protecting their rights, but interfering with them. For example, he states how the king keeps sending over soldiers and expects the people to house and feed them. How would you feel if the government just placed a stranger in your home and told you he could eat your hard-earned food? These soldiers were also allowed to disobey the laws in the colonies and not be punished for them. This is not what you call protecting peoples’ rights; it is more like invading them. Another very strong deductive argument in this document is, “deriving their just power from the consent of the governed”. This means any power or authority that a government has is given to them by the consent of the people, but this right like many others was abused too. For instants, Jefferson wrote that they have “Petitioned for redress” repeatedly, meaning they sent many petitions to the king about many unfair problems in the colonies, wanting to come to some type of agreement. Nevertheless, the king does not answer them but continues to hurt them. This shows that the king did not care about the peoples’ consent; therefore, he is not implicating a just government and they have the right to break free from Great Britain.
Therefore, being self evident means that each truth speaks on its own behalf and should not be denied at whichever circumstances (Zuckert, 1987). The main reason why they were named as self evident was to influence the colonists to see the reality in the whole issue. Jefferson based his argument from on the theory of natural rights as illustrated by John Locke who argued that people have got rights which are not influenced by laws in the society (Tuckness, 2010). One of the truths in the Declaration for Independence is the inalienable rights which are either individual or collective. Such rights are inclusive of right to liberty, life and pursuit of happiness. Unalienable rights means rights which cannot be denied since they are given by God. In addition, such rights cannot even be sold or lost at whichever circumstance. Apart from individual rights, there are also collective rights like the right of people to chose the right government and also to abolish it incase it fails achieve its main goal. The inalienable goals are based on the law of nature as well as on the nature’s God as illustrated in the John Locke’s philosophy. It is upon the government to recognize that individuals are entitled to unalienable rights which are bestowed by God. Although the rights are not established by the civil government, it has a great role to ensure that people are able to express such laws in the constitution (Morgan, 2010).
To conclude, through the many revisions made by Jefferson, the committee, and then by Congress, Jefferson retained his prominent role in writing the defining document of the American Revolution and, indeed, of the United States. Jefferson was critical of changes to the document, particularly the removal of a long paragraph that attributed responsibility of the slave trade to British King George III. Jefferson was justly proud of his role in writing the Declaration of Independence and skillfully defended his authorship of this hallowed document.
Becker, C. L. (2008). The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas. Illinois: BiblioBazaar, LLC .
Morgan, K. L. (2010). The Declaration of Independence, Equality and Unalienable Rights. Web.
Tuckness, A. (2010). Locke’s Political Philosophy. Web.
Zuckert, M. P. (1987). Self-Evident Truth and the Declaration of Independence. The Review of Politics , 49 (3), 319-339.