13 July 2015
Freedom for All?
Freedom and independence are two of the most important principles to people everywhere today. People are tired of having someone else control their social and economic environments. In 1776, Thomas Jefferson created the Declaration of Independence with helpful insight from his peers. Behaving as radicals, they wanted to be separate from England and King George III. Seventy two years later, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions was drafted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton at a small convention for women’s rights. She and other women wanted to be free from the strong grip that men had on women’s places in society. Stanton actually used the same format in her writing that Jefferson used for his, but she altered it to make it more appropriate for her cause. Jefferson’s basic outline has been used countless times in statements from people all over the world wanting independence. It amazes me how big of an impact these two writers continue to have on our country and others.
Of the two composers, Jefferson’s reasons for wanting to break off from a larger party were more political. Jefferson and his acquaintances were fighting against one of the world’s biggest powerhouses. They wanted to gain their independence from England and King George III. In the final draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson lists eighteen reasons that he almost considers to be crimes against what would eventually become the thirteen states. One of the complaints on the original draft was about King George III’s actions pertaining to slavery in the colonies. To get representatives from all areas, not just the locations where there was little to no slavery, to sign the statement against the king, this section was edited out of the final copy. He wanted everyone to agree before the landmark decision was made to send this forceful document to the king and his peers in England. King George III had massive amounts of power over the colonists, and many people thought that he abused it. He created unreasonable laws and always stationed an excessive number of soldiers in the homes of terrified colonists. The mismanagement of the king’s power upset the citizens and destroyed his relations with them.
Naturally, one of Jefferson’s biggest barriers throughout the process was the influence and reign of King George III. Those who respected the king the most thought that he could do no wrong and that everyone against him should be punished. A lot of the colonists disagreed with the king’s deeds. The people that lived in the colonies that appreciated King George III were also another barrier for Jefferson. They were misled and thought that the king was helping their communities develop correctly and civilly. Colonists that had neutral opinions on the king were probably considered with him because they did not fully agree with and support Jefferson’s views. An important obstacle for Jefferson to overcome was that of whether or not to include somewhat of an anti-slavery message in the Declaration of Independence. Again, he wished that the people who were gathered could all agree and not have to make any compromises. It is strange that he had slaves and also had a mistress who was a slave because he was, in a way, pushing for slavery to be eliminated or lessened. With the help of others, he was able to forget about his barriers and open up a path to independence.
Equally important were the outcomes that Jefferson desired by writing the document. Similar to many oppressed groups or organizations today, he wanted to be free of a higher power. He despised the thought of someone who did not really know the people having complete control over them. The colonists were tired of not being in charge of themselves and their colonies. Jefferson was eager to help start a new country that had its own sets of rules. He thought that the new laws that were in place...
Bibliography: [EBSCO]. Web. 01 July
Jefferson, Thomas. “The Declaration of Independence.” 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology,
Fourth Edition. Ed. Samuel Cohen. Bedford/St. Martin’s: Boston, 2014. 190-198. Print.
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions.” 50 Essays: A Portable
Anthology, Fourth Edition. Ed. Samuel Cohen. Bedford/St. Martin’s: Boston, 2014. 390-
Thompson, Hannah. "Declaration of Independence vs. Declaration of Sentiments." Declaration
of Independence vs. Declaration of Sentiments. Miami University, n.d. Web. 01 July
Please join StudyMode to read the full document