The Declaration of Independence





The purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to declare and explain why the thirteen colonies were breaking away from Great Britain’s control. I will explain how Jefferson used rhetorical strategies to make his document persuasive.


Jefferson started off the Declaration of Independence by explaining why he was writing this manifesto. He starts by telling what the colonies wanted. He then talks about the rights and powers that they deserve and should have. Jefferson also mentions that they are entitled to have unalienable Rights, such as Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He then goes into tell how it’s also the right of the colonies to break away form Great Britain if Great Britain is not treating the colonies well. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, by laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Jefferson tries to appeal to the reader by telling what the thirteen colonies should have. He speaks as if it’s their God given right to be free.


In the middle of the Declaration of Independence is where I think he makes his biggest point. Jefferson tells about all the things that Great Britain does wrong. He uses a very repetitive style to kind of bang it into your head. Every fact he states he starts off the sentence with “He has” or “For”. When writing the Declaration of Independence


Jefferson uses a third of the document just to list all the hardships the colonies have been through. It seems he really wants to get the point through that the colonies are not being treated fairly. He tells about events like cutting off trading with other countries, placing taxes on the colonies, and he refused to agree with the laws that are suppose to be good for everyone. Jefferson goes on to list about twenty-six different things that Great Britain has done wrong.


He ends by clearly stating that the colonies are breaking away from Great Britain. He uses a really long sentence to start off the last paragraph. He says “We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, ad of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from Allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do”


I think this sentence really makes a point. He states exactly what the colonies want and states the purpose of the Declaration of Independence. It’s a good way to end his document. I think Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence” was a very persuasive document. I liked the way he presented the things that Great Britain did wrong. I liked the repetitive style, using “For” and “He has”. It makes the facts sink into my head.