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Response To Jefferson's Declaration Of Independence

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The American Declaration of Independence has affected the foundation of the United States more than any other event or document in American history. The Declaration of Independence was the basis for what the country was established on. The document was a way for the colonists to emancipate themselves from the cruelty of King George. This document had such an impacting effect because it was such a new way of bringing up concerns. It was the first of its kind in the history of America in the aspect of liberation of a group of people.

Jefferson's text was extremely taboo especially without the support of a reputable country. Thomas Jefferson's words were also courageous and daring. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson used the words in the preamble - life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - in which he uses happiness to mean property. He also gives examples of the tyrant qualities King George possesses and attacks the king's character and his skills as a leader.

Jefferson expressed his concerns and disagreements with the king in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson's main points focused on the lack of natural rights the colonists were granted. With the natural rights of the people removed the people and the government would not be able to function. When the king eliminated freedoms that colonists once had he stripped them of their grounds for life. Jefferson also focused on equality. He stated that all men were created equal and by equality he meant that all men (and women) rich or poor all had God given rights that no person should be able to restrict them from having.

This document defines independence because it states the terms on why the colonies need to be free from the control of the king. The colonists have no desire to be governed by British rule and Jefferson reiterates so well throughout this document why the influence from King George is unnecessary and unjust.

I define independence by having no association to someone or a group of people that have influence or give support to any aspect of another individual or multiple person's life or lives. Whether that association is financial, physical, or even emotional, breaking off the relationship with the other party gives a person or a group of people independence.

My definition of independence agrees with Jefferson's because we both believe that cutting ties off with another party is liberating. In this situation Jefferson's definition of independence differs from my own because I believe that not all independence is beneficial. I am dependent on the government to give me grants for financial aid. Without the financial support of the government I would not be able to attend school. I am also dependent on the relationships I have with my family and friends. Without the support I receive from them I do not think that I would be able to prosper in my life and have the happiness that Thomas Jefferson is in search of.

Prereading Questions:

1. The conditions that people may alter or abolish their government are any circumstances in which the majority of the people feel oppressed and the rights to freedom are removed. When governing a people there has to be limitations on freedom. My understanding of the word freedom is having the ability to do what you please as long as you refrain from the physical or emotional harm of yourself or any other human beings. When any government starts to undermine the very purpose of protecting the life, freedoms, and happiness of the people, then the people have the right to modify the government or, in the event of extreme oppression, overthrow those in power.

2. Jefferson considers King George a tyrant because he has removed the rights of freedom from the American people. King George took the ability for the people living in the colonies to live peacefully and happily. The colonists were being oppressed from across the ocean. King George was unaware of the conditions the colonists were living in. He had no first hand experience of the colonies environment or functioning capabilities. He considered the people on the American soil to be part of Great Britain, but with distance comes separation and discrepancy.

Critical Reading:

1. The laws of nature that Jefferson is referring to in paragraph one are in regards to the laws that human beings have upon birth. The only set laws that humans have to abide by are the Natural Laws that they receive from God which hold true anywhere in the world and to any person in the world. Jefferson's logic, although very genuine, did have a flaw. His beliefs did not match his actions. Jefferson believed in the equality of humans but he was also known for condoning slavery and having slaves himself. Jefferson is rumored to have had a slave mistress, which I find quite interesting. He did want the Western territories to be free of slavery and he has been recorded as being one of the few "good" slave owners, yet at the same time he does contradict himself by owning slaves and disregarding the institution of slavery.

2. I believe that Jefferson feels that the function of government is to serve the people. Whatever things the people need or demand the government should be able to provide and/or offer its people. The very reason we have man-made governments is to protect our natural rights, not to interfere with them. The power and authority governments have are given with the people's consent and limited to their protection. The people elect the government because the people believe that those in power will be adequate enough to take care of them.

3. Jefferson's text and language is somewhat difficult to understand in regards to his feelings on the female half of the population. I would assume that Jefferson did favor a patriarchal system only because he was an advocate for equal rights. Without women there would be no men. Without the support and the nurture of a woman men could not function and their existence would be meaningless. I would imagine Jefferson to believe in the concept of family and the reliance they have on each other. In the paragraph 29 Jefferson writes about the Native Americans and their mercilessness. Jefferson's concern for the safety and well being of women and children support my theory on his whether or not he favors a



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