Monday, September 26, 2011

Declaration of Independence

So now I need to talk about the propoganda and faulty logic in the Declaration of Independence. I would say that most of the document is a very accurate depiction of how England treated America, with few exceptions. I can actually remember reading about several events in the Declaration that were mentioned as wrong doings by the crown. I also noticed that although there were several parts with rather violent language, that most of the document was fairly mild mannered. You would think that a document starting a revolution would be a little more violent and distressing, but I guess that must not have been Jefferson's style because this read more like a documentary list that a passionate vehement one. That being said, I do believe that Thomas Jefferson did exaggerate in a few points when he was writing in his more dramatic style.

At one point Thomas Jefferson accuses the English having "abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war on us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people" (Jefferson 124). I know that America was in the middle of the Revolutionary War at the time this was written, but even so the language may be a little bit melodramatic. Even though many people died in the Revolutionary War, I still think that it is a pretty big stretch to make the generalization the king ruined the lives of the American people. Other than that, I think that if you were to ask Thomas Jefferson to give an example of an any even that he accuses the king of doing, he would easily be able too. The real issue between America and England was caused by Parliment trying to control the American assemblies, but the king's rude insolence was apparently much easier to attack than that of Parliment.

I think that other than that specific example in the Declaration of Independence, I think that it is a very reasonable document. Without taking the Revolutionary War into account, it does sound really dramatic and a bit unfounded and unreasonable. But when you remember that they were in the middle of a war, and the King George III had gotten entirely rid of the local representative governments and gave their power to his governors. I can understand completely why the American people would be outraged enough to start a revolution. All things considered, I was really surprised at the tone of the declaration. It was not as self-righteous as I thought it would be, and considering that the declaration was starting a revolution, I thought it was really pretty mildly put. I think that it was a really good example of writing in the rationalist period because it really put reason and rationality in front of emotion. There was a bit of emotion in the Declaration of Independence, but it really was mostly based on reason. I think that it is a very good thing that our government was founded on reason, because governments founded on emotion tend not to be very stable.

Jefferson, Thomas. "Deceleration of Independence." Comp. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Ph.D. and Douglas Fisher, Ph.D. Glencoe Literature. American Literature ed. Columbus: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009. 97-99. Print.

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