Declaration of Independence Analysis
The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776. It announced that the Thirteen Colonies, (already at war with Great Britain,) would regard themselves as independent states, and no longer be not under British rule. These new states took a unified first step toward forming the United States of America with the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was largely written by Thomas Jefferson, but revised by General Congress to produce the final document. It was signed by representatives from Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In The Declaration, the Thirteen Colonies justified their independence by listing grievances against King George III and asserting natural and legal rights, including the right to revolt. The king was the intended audience of the
In The Declaration of Independence, the use of ethos, pathos, and logos is predominant in the document. Pathos is the most used out of the three rhetorical devices. Jefferson uses the emotional appeals to manipulate King George III’s words and actions to capture the colonist’s attention. He does this to enrage the audience so Jefferson can show them that he is there for them while the king is not. Jefferson uses ethos in a way to unite and strengthen histhe audience. Some examples from the document that help support this is “all men are created equal” (NA-DOI). This example explains his willingness to stand by the colonists and be there for the colonies colonists. In this document, Jefferson establishes his also established credibility through ethos. His credibility is based on who he is as a person, the history he makes has made, and influences he has brought about. He also identifies with the audience on the subject account of being disciplined by King George III even though he is miles apart from the colonies. Jefferson was “in congress, July 4,1776” (NA-DOI) when writing this document with the help of other representatives of the general congress assembled. Jefferson shows his appeal to logos by the way he created the declaration The way the declaration was written gives Jefferson logos, because the format of the document forces the audience to pay attention to each argument being made. Each section is separated out by subject and can be easily comprehended, then followed from one topic to the next.
In the “original Rrough draughft” Jefferson is still credible through logos, ethos, and pathos. Jefferson still maintains contains his credibility, of who he is anis, an admirable author, a respectable historian, and an exemplary patriot. His logical argument isn’t as substantial strong as the finalized document print version, it is more complex for the reader to follow as he transitions to each section of the declaration. “the truth of which we pledge a faith yet unsullied by falsehood…” (LOC). Through the emotional appeals of the rough draft he is very detailed and not as to the point “laws of nature and of nature’s god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind…” (LOC). It doesn’t hit the audience as strong because of the poor word usage that he portrays.
These documents, although similar, are distinguishable from one another not indistinguishable. When comparing the documents, the final draft printed version is the more persuasive of the two documents because it has a substantial emotional appeal to the audience and is easier to follow and understand. The first printed version is more sophisticated starting off with the date as well as keeping “United States of America” (NA-DOI) more controlled and less in your face as the original rough draft illustrates. A lot of the concept of the same, for example “it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it” (NA-DOI) meaning he is giving the people rights and that they can control the government, they have a voice and can’t be controlled. They also use the line “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (NA-DOI) this explains that “unalienable rights” are bestowed upon all humans by their creators. Government just serves as a beacckon to protect and serve the people. All in all, it is the people’s rights and duty to have control over their own government., Tthis is what Jefferson is trying to convey to the colonist, as well as, the King of England, King George the III. Also, both these documents have the same flow and separation of topics to make it easier to understand and follow for the audience can, so they audience can pay attention to the important points that are being addressed. Jefferson still has the same credibility and trustworthiness throughout the entire document.
In conclusion, King George (delete the) III was the intended audience of the Declaration of Independence, as were the colonists and foreign nations. Thomas Jefferson, a primary author in the writing of the Declaration of Independence, wrote in the Declaration several specific entries about King George (delete the) III describing in detail why the colonists were going to become severed from English rule. The language used in the Declaration of Independence is what makes its purpose clear. There is no confusion on the documents’ deliberate audience or motivation. The Declarations premise was to divorce itself from Great Britain and authorize its own 13 colonies.