Rhetorical Analysis of the Declaration of Independence

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, United States, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 4 (1200 words) Published: November 17, 2014
Quang Thai
Professor Allison
English 101
2 September 2014
Rhetorical Analysis
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, explains to his readers why the colonies chose to abolish Great Britain’s government. His goal is to inform the readers that the government has certain responsibilities to the governed and that the British failed to adhere to its responsibilities to its colonists. His second goal is to justify their actions by explaining why it was not considered treason. By establishing his credibility and appealing to ethos, pathos and logos, Jefferson successfully wrote an informative, impactful, and inspirational document. In order for Jefferson to earn his readers’ support, he needs to establish his credibility. He does so by stating that “it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands” and “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind.” By acknowledging his needs of explaining to his educated readers the reasons for the colonies’ actions, he shows them that he is an intelligent man of good character and good intentions. In the second paragraph, Jefferson stated “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments…” to emphasize that he is cautious and reasonable. Before listing the grievances, he stated “let Facts be submitted to a candid world.” He wishes to share them to an honest and sincere world to establish a common ground with the audience. After listing the grievances, he guaranteed the readers of the colonists’ honest efforts to fix the conflict without having to separate by asserting “We have petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only repeated injury.” He continues by affirming that the colonists have tried to appeal to the King and “our British brethren.” His usage of the word “brethren” shows that he is humble, respectful, and good willed. He concludes the declaration with an honorable avowal which states...
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