The importance of having the Declaration read to every colonial soldier and posted prominently in every town
The American Declaration of Independence was accepted by the thirteen American states to express profound desire to detach themselves from the colonial yokes of Great Britain. At this point in history, George Washington was the Commander of the colonial forces fighting against the British occupation in America. He had the Declaration read to every colonial soldier, and posted it in every town and village. The Declaration contained sentiments of patriotism and nationalism. It was meant to instill in the soldiers the psyche and courage to fight off the British colonialists. The onset of this reading was declared on July, 9, 1776. At the same time, the posting of the declaration in every village was meant to win the loyalty of the citizens to support the American soldiers in the fight against the British. At the time when the 13 American states were making this declaration, the entire America was under the rule of the crown. The declaration recounted the tyrannical rule of the British on the American colonies. By having it read across the army and the villages, George Washington intended to evoke feelings of sentiments against the British colonialists. To a large extent, he succeeded in it as many Americans supported the soldiers who fought tirelessly to defeat the invaders.
The declaration as an instrument of persuasion
The Declaration of Independence can be viewed as an instrument that was used by its drafters to persuade Americans, and the world in general, to support the quest for independence. It urged the colonial soldiers and citizens to rally behind the American Revolution. The American war of independence drew a lot of inspiration from the Declaration. On 4th of July, the declaration was adopted by the congress a move interpreted by many scholars, as due to its convincing ability. It contains lines that are persuasive in nature.
The declaration presents a chronology of facts on how the colonialists subverted the rights of the Americans in a tone that persuades the reader to understand the reason and justification behind the quest for independence. In the last line of the first paragraph, the declaration states, “…. a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation” (The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies n. p.). These compelling lines affirm the persuasive nature of the Declaration which is captured in the subsequent sections therein. The persuasiveness is directed to the colonial soldiers, the American citizens and the world in general. This aspect is supported by the fact that the Declaration has managed to be a vital historical document. Apart from creating the United States of America, the document has influenced many people in the world. It inspired the Vietnamese quest for independence from France. On the top of this, many colonial rebellions have drawn their justifications from the declaration of Independence.
The main grievances of colonialists as outlined in the Declaration
The Declaration of Independence drew a list of grievances that the American people had over the British. These grievances are presented as facts to the world from the second passage. The Great Britain through King George III had established an absolute and tyrannical rule over the states of America. The king refused to give assents to important legislation passed by the American congress and his Governors. He put in place many obstacles, which made it difficult to pass and implement laws in America. For instance, legislative meetings were held far away from the legislators to make them fatigued, and hence comply with the king’s will. The king ruled in the most undemocratic of ways as outlined in the Declaration. He, for instance, dissolved the legislature many times without having replacements. This left the state vulnerable to attacks from the outside, as there was no constitutional body to assent to a declaration of war. The system of governance established by the people had been abolished and replaced with a foreign and tyrannical regime.
Another grievance was the obstruction of administration of justice. The king refused to give assent to laws seeking to establish judicial powers. The judges were not independent as he determined their remuneration and tenure of job. The people were denied the right to trial by jury with others being transported overseas for trial. The laws of the land had been abolished and replaced with foreign ones.
The king had denied the people of American their right to trade in the world market. This was a preserve of the crown and the British imperialists. Taxes were imposed without the consent of the people. In essence, Britain was robbing the states of their natural wealth and the benefits of commerce.
There were other inhuman acts committed against the Americans. These included forceful recruitment into the army, exposure to an army that was ruthless and superior to the civil power, and the oppressive official of the colonial government.
Stated purpose of the Declaration
The American Declaration of Independence purposed to set the Americans free from the political bands that had connected them together. It endeavors to create a free United States of America through the assumption of powers entitled to the people by God almighty and the laws of our nature. The Free states were to be accorded the same respect and entitlement as other sovereign states of the world. They were free to declare war, conclude peace, trade and make alliances.
The most important passage of the Declaration
The last passage is the most important in the Declaration for a number of reasons. It provides a summary of the whole document by declaring the independence of the thirteen states. The declaration states categorically that the united colonies had every right in the world to be free from the colonial rule of Great Britain. They had the right to form sovereign states. The passage further outlines the creation of a nation out of the many states of America. Before the Declaration was made, American people defined themselves as states. However, the passage creates the nation of America and embodies the ideas and ideals of the American people. The declaration urges the America people to rely on ideas and ideals that hold them together, to think and view themselves as people of one nation. These ideals have united the people of America and guided them to become the most powerful nation in the world (The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies n. p.).
“The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies”. Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington. In CONGRESS, 1776.