Rhetorical Analysis On Declaration Of Independence

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Sia Park Mrs. Jenkins APEL: Period 1 09 October 2014 “Declaration of Independence” Précis In the “Declaration of Independence”, Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father, propounds the statement that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as independent sovereign states, liberated from the British Empire. To sway his colleagues and citizens to declare independence, Jefferson applies rhetorical devices like allusions, imagery, and diction as well as persuasive appeals to strengthen his fight for autonomy. In this famed declaration, imagery is utilized to establish the reasons necessary for the colonies to cut political ties with Britain. To paint the picture that the king is ignoring his people and their needs of basic necessities, …show more content…

Jefferson’s use of abundance of detail and imagery help prove his point. The statement “…long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism…” is used as a starting point to describe the “long train of abuse” that provides a sense that Britain has been cruel, unfair, and abusive. The diction, like the connotation of words such as “despotism”, “abuses and usurpations”, “sufferance” and “tyranny” adds on to Britain’s maltreatment. He uses the fact that the king will not even approve the necessary laws for the public good to strengthen his argument for liberty. Jefferson goes on further, claiming that he neglects the needs of the people and makes it impossible for them to get anything approved or changed. He also explains that the king has refused to make it possible for someone else to be elected and take his place. The list of grievances shows his audience that Great Britain has been treating them poorly. References to John Locke are utilized to add to the reasons for freedom. Jefferson makes many mentions of John Locke’s beliefs: that God gives men “certain unalienable rights” like …show more content…

Jefferson and the writers of the Declaration of Independence establish their ethics by showing their good sense, good character, and good will by acknowledging that they do have legitimate reasons for their actions and to show that they are not ludicrous. The list of grievances helps portray the many reasons they have therefore their ethics. To add on to their ethos, they note their prudence: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes…” to demonstrate that they are cautious and reasonable men. Logos is introduced as the writers follow with a statement of their fundamental beliefs: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” Jefferson includes a major premise that the role of the government is to protect the rights of the people and when the government fails to do so, the people have the right to revolt and change it. He also adds on a minor premise: the British government has seized the rights of the colonists which leads to the conclusion that the colonists have the right to declare independence from Britain and overthrow a tyrannous government. Finally the appeal to emotion is shown through negative connotations of words like “death, desolation, and tyranny”. These words invoke a feeling of anger and fear, that if the colonists don’t take action, then

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