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Declaration of Independence - Essay Example

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The Declaration of Independence was a document that was ratified by congress on July 4, 1776 announcing that thirteen colonies of America which were at war with Great Britain had declared themselves independent states. Its chief architects were Thomas Jefferson and John Adams…
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Declaration of Independence
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Download file to see previous pages There is no big difference between the initial Declaration and the final version. Most of the wording was retained as it was in the initial document. Very minimal alterations were made on the document.
In comparing Jefferson’s initial Declaration with the final version, it can be noted that most of the alterations made were on the wording in the document. This was more for the purpose of clarity than for alteration of meaning of the words in the Declaration. Of the draft presented to Congress, only two passages were rejected directly by Congress. One of the passages referred to the English people in an inappropriate manner which did not go down well with congress since even the Americans were of British roots. The other passage which denounced slavery and slave trade did not please Congress as many members owned slaves and were not willing to set them free.
The alterations of the wording in the document was to give the document a more personalized feel as will be explained by the following examples. Some of the alterations for example at the start of the Declaration where the article “of” is changed to “by”, was intended to bring out the aspect of personalization. The alteration of the words “sacred & undeniable” to read “self evident” may have been done to avoid the statement a religious feel. Some alterations were made for grammatical purposes to avoid unintended meanings from statements. This is evident in the second paragraph where the article “in” was deleted before the word “rights”. It is clear from this example that inclusion of the article would have given the statement a different meaning that was not intended by the drafters of the declaration.
Other alterations may have been made to correct human error as in the case where Jefferson deletes the words “he has dissolved” from the beginning of a line he was writing. It is clear that this was because he was repeating the previous line and on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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