The Goals of the Declaration of Independence
The American Revolution was not only a battle between the British and the colonists; it was a historical movement that brought about new ways of thinking. The ideas of liberty and equality began to be seen as essential to the growth of the new nation. The separation of the American colonies from the British Empire occurred for a number of reasons. These reasons are illustrated in the Declaration of Independence. Although Thomas Jefferson wrote the document, it expressed the desire of the heart of each colonist to be free of British rule. British rule over the colonies became unbearable in the early months of 1776, making it clear to the colonists that it was time to either give in to British power or declare their independence. This idea of independence divided the colonies, but it was not long before a revolutionary committee met in Philadelphia and drew up the document that would change American history.
The Declaration of Independence was written to separate the American colonies from Britain, but there were many underlying goals. It was written to state the grievances that the colonists held against the British, particularly the king. The colonists wanted a better economy, a new republican government, but perhaps most of all, they simply wanted their misery to end. This is what they set out to explain in the document. John Adams described it as “a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man” (Friedenwald 182).
The forceful wording used in the introduction of the document was used for a reason. Jefferson writes, “When in the course of h...
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... clear that government is subject to the people that it governs. The British realized that they could not write a document that would meet the demands of the colonists (Thomas 334). It was time for the colonists to write their own document. This document, the Declaration of Independence, was not only a stand against Britain; it was a stand for freedom.
Friedenwald, Herbert. The Declaration of Independence: An Interpretation and an Analysis. New York: Da Capo Press, 1974.
Pleasants, Samuel A., III. The Declaration of Independence. Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Books, 1996.
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Wills, Garry. Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co., 1978.