The Evolution of the Declaration of Independence
In its current form, the Declaration of Independence is not what was originally written. Before the final copy was printed, revisions, additions, and deletions were made. With any writing, revisions are obviously expected to be made; the Declaration of Independence was no exception of course. However, the Declaration is not just any writing; it’s an important piece of history for the United States. The words and ideals expressed in the Declaration have influenced many people who frequently invoke its tenets. Given the context, it’s worthwhile exploring these changes, examining why they were made, whether or not they were more effective than the original print, and the overall evolution of the document. Ultimately, the revisions made to the current Declaration of Independence were justified and needed.
Prior to the writing of the Declaration, attempts at reconciliation with Great Britain were still being made. Colonists were not yet ready to officially severe ties with their mother country. In fact, it took a while before people began to even contemplate the idea of declaring and fighting for independence. Even just a few years before the war began the idea of independence would have seemed inconceivable, despite the British Empire’s insistence on centralizing power over the colonies. Nonetheless, efforts at reconciliation were still being made. For example, this was seen with the Olive Branch Petition sent to King George, which the Second Continental Congress approved in a last ditch effort to refrain from engaging in total war. In fact, many wanted to continue to be part of the British Empire as they had regarded themselves as proud Britons who upheld Bri...
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