Human Rights with Jefferson and Paine

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, Human rights, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 4 (1400 words) Published: April 3, 2014
Mason Andrews
American Lit
Professor Newman
11 October 2013
Spreading Our Roots
As intelligent beings, the human race has always been riddled with arguments about rights. This phenomenon is completely natural to humans and is part of what separates us from animals. Perhaps it is our intelligence, our natural course given by divine beings, or just simply a part of who we are through evolution that causes us to believe in and assert our basic rights. To evaluate this idea, it is necessary to examine human history and modern belief. Two great writers from American history, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, wrote extensively on this subject. Both of whom lived in a time of major revolutionary beliefs relating to human rights: the era of American Revolution. Their core beliefs were transcribed into their documents; these motivated and proclaimed a new American ideal on true freedom and inherent rights. Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of Independence, the document which proclaimed an absolved relationship between the Colonies and the King of England, wrote many fiery and revolutionary ideals about human rights into his draft of the Declaration. The first sentence of the document is very important and sets the tone for the entire paper: “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth and separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to make the separation.” (340) Jefferson uses powerful language from the very beginning, shown here, on the topic of basic rights. He believes that according to human events, it is the right of humans to dissolve the binding and controlling bands that are creating unrest. He also speaks upon this when he states, “…it is the right of the...
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