Yet few Americans choose to take the opportunity to learn and understand those defining principles that the Founding Fathers laid forth in that first and all-important document. If contemporary Americans were to simply read the words and follow the principles that reside within Declaration of Independence, the nation as a whole might be philosophically aimed in an entirely different direction…the one for which it was first intended.
The Declaration of Independence was written as a means of accusing the English King of wrongs before the world as a jury. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying it was “an appeal to the tribunal of the world.” (Adler 23) But under which law was the King to be accused? Obviously not English law, the very law they were putting down. The laws of an independent and sovereign nation would likewise have ill effect. Jefferson instead chose to use a law John Locke had first proposed called natural law, which had become the very fuel enflaming the colonies. (Munves 13) These are rights believed to be the common property of all individuals, regardless of nationality, and are older indeed than any government.
Therefore, one of the most fundamental misconceptions most Americans have about the Declaration of Independence pertains to the document’s intended audience. Many believe that it was a declaration to England and her King of the colony’s intent to be independent. In fact, the Declaration of Independence was written for a universal audience. The colonies were already well beyond the point of explaining themselves to England, and England was well aware of the grievances that were felt. The first paragraph of the Declaration affirms thi...
... middle of paper ...
...r. It stands as a definitive work on the subject of government and its role to the people it serves. In addition, it outlines the true duty all men have to themselves and their country. It is the obligation to pursue a good life, the maintenance of his own individual freedom, and the greatest fulfillment of his potential, happiness.
Adler, Mortimer J., and William Gorman. The American Testament. New York:
The History Channel. 2000. The History Channel. 8 Dec. 2000
Munves, James. Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence: The
Writing and Editing of the Document that marked the Birth of the United
States of America. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976.
National Archives and Records Administration. 18 Jul. 2000. National Archives and
Records Administration. 6 Dec. 2000 <http://www.nara.gov/exhall/exhibits.html>
Office of the Secretary of State. “Center for research on Vermont.” State of Vermont,
Deb Markowitz. 6 Dec. 2000.
Wills, Gary. Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Garden City:
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Declaration of the Independence was a formal document which declared the America’s independence from Britain from July 4, 1776 until today (“Declaration of Independence”). The Enlightenment was a period in time, in the eighteenth century, when many Enlightenment thinkers created new ways of understanding which later influenced the American and French Revolution (“Enlightenment”). Celebration of the Declaration of Independence occurs every year on July 4, when Americans come together to honor our independent nation, usually with fireworks, hot dogs and apple pies.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
1035 words (3 pages)
- Midterm Essay: The Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wanted to be the one to be remembered for writing the Declaration of Independence, all though he was a big part of the well known written piece, he did have some help from outstanding men. Jefferson wanted to do whatever he could to help out his fellow Americans from tyranny. The declaration of Independence was written up in 1776 by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston and Thomas Jefferson.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
1021 words (2.9 pages)
- During the colonialization of North American it was a time of rebirth for all people. America offered an opportunity for individuals and families to take a chance at a new way of living. Rather it be for religious reasons or just the search of new start, America was the place to do that. The British Empire; however, did not see it as such and many events created the friction which eventually start a revolutionary fire. The colonist wrote down what they had been feeling for years, the need for a change.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
1026 words (2.9 pages)
- “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” For 240 years, these words have been engraved into the minds, hearts, souls, and lives of Americans everywhere. These words were written into the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. The Declaration of Independence is a historical document which declared the colonies of America to be free and independent states from Britain.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
1418 words (4.1 pages)
- The declaration of Independence was written up in 1776 by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston and Thomas Jefferson. Three of these men (Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson) are known for being part of the founding fathers. At this period of time, America was in conflict with Great Britain for freedom and at the same time it was also part of the age of enlightenment. Until today, the Declaration of Independence remains the most important writing in America, and American history.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
799 words (2.3 pages)
- Never undervalue the power of words. Nations have been inspired to do extraordinary things through the influence of words. War and peace meetings with enemies and alliances have made decisions that affected many. In the course of the history of our nation, multiple letters and speeches have brought to pass high levels of anger and harmony of its people. Two prime examples of such documents are The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson as a letter to the king of Great Britain, and the Gettysburg Address, written by Abraham Lincoln as a dedicatory speech in an effort to unite the United States of America.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
1397 words (4 pages)
- On April 27, 2015, I observed and became more knowledgeable to the artifact entitled the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence, between, June 11th and June 28, 1776, was created by a five person team (but did not originate from the committee) which included the following: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, ad Roger Sherman. Livingston refused to sign the Declaration of Independence because he felt that it would not stand for anything at that time, or be of good standing, or beneficial to him.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
772 words (2.2 pages)
- I woke up early, like every other morning but today, especially early even before the sun. I couldn’t sleep at all knowing today I was able to hear the Declaration of Independence being read out loud by our Chief. My friends and I no longer have any hope of freedom as we have been living under oppression our whole life, either it’s by the British or by Americans. But we were still curious what the founding father have to say about us. It was twelve in the afternoon, we sat in a circle and our Chief began to read to us the Declaration.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
1164 words (3.3 pages)
- The Declaration of Independence is a landmark piece of document that allowed the 13 original colonies to become sovereign states. Thomas Jefferson and the Second Continental Congress wrote this document. All parties who participated in the writing of the document became key parts in the structure of what the United States has become today. They have also influenced other future documents that they drafted/created to protect the rights of citizens of this new country. This includes the Bill of Rights which created laws that citizens also had to abide by even in today’s society.... [tags: United States Declaration of Independence]
785 words (2.2 pages)
- Modern Day Relevance of The Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents produced by an American thinker. Reading The Declaration of Independence presents the reader with a window into the world of revolutionary America. It conveys the dynamic nature of the time better than any written work of the period. The real importance of The Declaration of Independence lies not in the purpose for which Jefferson created it, to declare independence from Great Britain, but rather how future generations have interpreted Jefferson's words.... [tags: Declaration Independence Essays]
973 words (2.8 pages)