Rhetorical Analysis On Declaration Of Independence

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Rhetorical Strategies Analysis Essay “For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Two hundred and forty one years ago, the American colonies began their fight for freedom -- one year later they declared their independence from Britain as the United States of America. Patrick Henry’s The “Speech in the Virginia Convention” and Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence were the catalysts for this revolution, and the reason for these documents’ fame could easily be attributed to the power within the words. Both were written on the topic of Britain’s mistreatment of the colonies and thus their need for freedom;…show more content…
During this time period, religion was a major role in daily-life; therefore, using biblical references was a major appeal to the audience’s emotion as well as to substantiate the author’s own legitimacy. Jefferson and Henry took advantage of this common tactic in order to maintain the audience’s interest and enhance the testimonies validity. In both of the given articles, each author established religion into their argument within the first paragraph. Declaration of Independence utilized it as an explanation for why the country is in need of its independence, and “Speech in the Virginia Convention” appropriates religious claims as a way to assign responsibility to the masses. The two authors have a similar claim attached to each time they mention God, that being that He wishes them to be free and that America is the colonists’ country. They both believe that so long as “[They] make proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in [their] power" then the nation will be theirs, because “all men are created equal, [and] that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. The two documents had different intents, but there is an approval towards religion that was commonplace during this time period, and the authors were cognizant enough of this to ensure the use of biblical reference for the audience to be more understanding…show more content…
The “Speech in the Virginia Convention” was originally just that - a speech - one devised and passionately articulated by Patrick Henry in the literal heat of the moment. A cursory glance is all that is required to know that Henry speaks with an underlying fury; a controlled, refined fury, but fury nonetheless. In no place is this fervor more apparent than when Henry talks of the abuses Britain has inflicted upon the colonists; how “our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded”, escalating in both audacity and volume when he insist that “If we wish to be free–if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight!”. These are not the trademarks of a meticulously crafted proposal of resistance, but rather a passionate proclamation meant to galvanize change. Change begins with people, thus Henry rallies the people.
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