The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence
INTRO TO THE DECLARATION
America’s Breakup Note to England
I'm not sure how to start this letter but I feel
we need to talk. I've been thinking about us
a lot lately. Things used to be so great - it was
like we were meant for each other. I mean
everyone said it was perfect. I really thought
we would be together forever but then things
I feel like you started to take me for granted. You
just started to do whatever you wanted and
never even asked me about anything or how I
I've been thinking about this for a while
and I don't want to hurt you but I think it is
time we broke up. I mean it's just not
going to work. Sorry. I just need some time
By myself to see what it is like on my own.
I'm sorry things didn't work out but I do
think YOU are the one to blame. Sorry but
"US“ is over.
- The American Colonies
WHY ARE WE BREAKING UP?
American colonies were not happy with
England and King George III
A list of grievances, or complaints, were sent,
but the king never answered them
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee
announced before congress that “That these
United Colonies are, and of right ought to be,
free and independent States, that they are
absolved from all allegiance to the British
Crown, and that all political connection
between them and the State of Great Britain is,
and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
THE COMMITTEE OF FIVE
The committee consisted of two New England men,
John Adams of Massachusetts and Roger Sherman
of Connecticut; two men from the Middle Colonies,
Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R.
Livingston of New York; and one southerner,
Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.
In 1823 Jefferson wrote that the other members of
the committee “unanimously pressed on myself
alone to undertake the draught [sic]. I consented; I
drew it; but before I reported it to the committee I
communicated it separately to Dr. Franklin and Mr.
Adams requesting their corrections. . . I then wrote
a fair copy, reported it to the committee, and from
them, unaltered to the Congress.”
THE FOURTH OF JULY
The Declaration of Independence was
adopted on July 4, 1776.
Did you know: only 12 of the 13 colonies adopted
the declaration. New York did not vote.
Did you know: the declaration was not signed by
all of the delegates until August 7, 1776
Did you know: John Hancock, president of
congress, was the first man to sign the declaration.
Did you know: every man to sign the declaration
was considered a traitor by England and their lives
1) Introduction – Independence is
2) Preamble – because there are some things
that men cannot live without.
3) Body (part I) – You (England) have abused
4) Body (part II) – We asked you to fix the
problems and you ignored us…
5) Conclusion -- so we are breaking up with
READING FOR ARGUMENT
As we read Consider this:
When is rebellion justified?
What is loyalty? How is it inspired?
Note: Argumentation test is next Tuesday, Oct.
25. We will read and examine argument until
then. You are expected to read and take c-notes
With your groups read, discuss and take c-notes on:
“The Declaration of Independence” (238)
What claim does Jefferson present in the preamble of
the Declaration, and what evidence does he say he’ll
What counterargument does Jefferson anticipate in
lines 15-22? What claim does he make at the end of
the same paragraph?
Read lines 95-104. Check out the first person plural
pronouns (“we” and “our”). How is Jefferson inspiring
unity of purpose? How does this paragraph support
his inspirational tone? Support your notes with
evidence from the text.
Identify the loaded language (words with strong
connotation) in lines 1-12. What kind of emotional
appeal do these words have? What tone do they
Check out lines 31-39. Notice the ethical appeal?
What is it? How does he say a parent should behave?
Look at likes 47-64. Notice the persuasive purpose?
(He uses emotionally-loaded words to appeal to the
beliefs shared by the colonists who read his essays.)
In lines 79-101: More use of emotional appeal.