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Declaration of Independence

While Thomas Jefferson is largely considered the chief author of The Declaration of Independence, Johnson (1997) maintains that ôAll kinds of philosophical and political influences went into it,ö (155). The Declaration included the pronouncement that the U.S. was a free and independent nation, accusing England of acts of tyranny. A good deal of support for declaring independence stemmed from the writings of Thomas Paine in Common Sense. In this work Paine (1985) wrote, ôEven brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families,ö (84). Even farmers like John Dickinson helped generate support for AmericaÆs declaration that the British had no right to tax the colonies in light of no representation. Other complaints leveled against the British were its conscription of men from the colonies to serve in the military and its attempt to rule a foreign and distant land.

While the Declaration of Independence discussed the attempt by the British to enslave the colonists and colonies, no mention of the issue of slavery is provided in its text. In fact, women were also pretty much left out of the document. When her husband John was involved in the process of creating the document and its ideas, Abigail Adams (1776) reminded her husband that its crafters should not fail to ôremember the ladies,ö (1). Even so, Adams was not calling for the right to vote but for stronger protections of women in the domestic sphere.

The ideas within the Declaration of Independence were also significantly influences by the writings of John Locke, an author whose works were digested wholly by Thomas Jefferson. Such ideas as ôlife, liberty, and the pursuit of happinessö stemmed directly from such learning. However, these ideas would also be influential in the drafting of the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution. This is mainly because within the Declaration the definitions of the powers of government were outl...

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Declaration of Independence. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:48, May 25, 2020, from