- The United States Declaration of Independence is a document in which the Colonies certify the fact that they are no longer a part of the Great Britain and form independent states instead and which provides the reasons for their separation.
- 2. The Declaration of Independence is addressed to the entire civilized world.
- The basis for the authority of the people is the God given rights to Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
- The ethos evoked is their status of representatives of the American people. They establish their credibility by using the first-person plural pronoun, “we”, so as to imply not only the Congress of the United States, but also the entire American people. Also, credibility is directly established at the end of the declaration, when the identity of the declarants, and the authority under which they act, are revealed.
- “He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people” (1).
- “For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever” (2).
- The feel of the declaration is one of legitimacy, based on laws of Nature and on basic human rights. The Declaration also contains a feel of hope which is associated with new beginnings.
- Jefferson’s argument is persuasive and effective because of the emotive value of the claims that draw from humanitarian principles, but also due to the logical enumeration of facts that justify the Colonies’ decision to separate from Great Britain.