Essay Outline For The Declaration Of Independence

Essay Outline For The Declaration Of Independence-52
Jefferson gave no indication of such an outline, suggesting instead that he had written the Declaration from scratch.It was only after he had completed the “original Rough draught” that Jefferson submitted the document to Adams and Franklin separately, soliciting changes that he later described as “two or three short and verbal alterations.” But, Jefferson continued, “even this is laying more stress on mere composition than it merits, for that alone was mine.”The Rough Draft to which Jefferson refers is one of the most fascinating documents in American history. Boyd (There can scarcely be any question but that the Rough Draft is the most extraordinarily interesting document in American history….We thus see why Jefferson focused on inalienable rights in his effort to fasten the charge of tyranny on the British government.

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An eighty-year-old Jefferson disputed this account. He denied that a subcommittee had ever been formed, claiming instead that the entire committee “unanimously pressed on myself alone to undertake the draught.”A more serious discrepancy between the accounts of Adams and Jefferson pertains to how the Declaration was actually drafted.

In his Adams recalled that the Committee of Five held several meetings, during which an outline of the Declaration was drawn up to serve as a guide for the draftsman.

It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.

It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

Therefore, there can be no excuse for the violation of inalienable rights.

This is the crucial bright-line test that enables us to distinguish the incidental or well-intentioned violation of rights, which even just governments may occasionally commit, from the deliberate and inexcusable violations of a tyrannical government.A man can no more transfer his inalienable rights than he can transfer his moral agency, his ability to reason, and so forth.This means that inalienable rights could never have been transferred to government in a social contract, so no government can properly claim jurisdiction over them.After all, no legitimate complaint can be made about the violation of a right if a government has gained proper jurisdiction over that right in the social contract.Government, for instance, cannot function without money, so the transfer of a minimal amount of property to government, collected in the form of taxes, was commonly seen as the prime example of a right that has been alienated in a social contract.(Contrary to the later recollections of Jefferson and Adams, no signing occurred on July 4).Carl Becker suggested that John Adams may have been responsible for the change: “Adams was one of the committee which supervised the printing of the text adopted by Congress, and it may have been at his suggestion that the change was made in printing.” Julian P.But before I delve into this philosophy I want to comment on a point of historical trivia. “Unalienable” first appears in John Dunlap’s initial printing of the Declaration (July 5), which was inserted in the rough Journal of Congress.The Declaration we know today refers to “unalienable” rights, but Jefferson used the word “inalienable.” Jefferson did not make this change, nor does the change appear to have been made by Congress while it was considering the draft submitted by the Committee of Five. It also appears in the corrected Journal and in the engrossed parchment version, which was signed by delegates on August 2.This prompted an excited John Adams to write to his wife, Abigail: The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.


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