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Themes in The Declaration of Independence

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Thomas Jefferson Declaration of Independence Themes

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  • INJUSTICE
  • EXAMPLE
  • THE STRENGTH OF THE RULED OVER THE RULERS
  • The document lists not only the grievances held against King George III, but the grievances against a tyrant. In George’s tyranny, he has dissolved representative governments, restricted currency, levied unfair taxes, and taken away territory. King George has treated the people of the colonies not as citizens of England, but as petulant children. By doing this, has robbed the colonists of their rights as English citizens, which is unjust.
  • Due to the Enlightenment and the merchant class, the belief in the Divine Right of Kings was fading; however, few people realized the power they held over their government. With this document, the colonists forged a new path by creating their own government because the one King George III was running was corrupt and tyrannical. People were deciding their futures and throwing away the ideas of traditional rulers.
  • JUSTIFICATIONS FOR A WAR
  • INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF ALL PEOPLE
  • War, ideally, should always be a last resort. The grievances outlined by Jefferson in the document prove that all necessary steps were taken in order to prevent war from becoming a reality. In doing so, Jefferson also shows all of the inappropriate, tyrannical ways that King George has responded to those steps, leaving no other option but to declare and then fight for freedom from an unreasonable tyrant.
  • All men are created equal, and they have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For the first time in history, it's declared that everyone is born with rights that cannot be given or taken away by anyone except God. A king or queen has no right to interfere with the people’s liberty, and if they do, the people have the right to cast them away. People are made equal to the monarchs by their inalienable right to equality.
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