Rhetorical Analysis of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson

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In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson seeks the separation of American colonies from oppressive and oppressive England. He made his position clear to the colonists and most importantly in the world through convincing complaints, syntax and a dictionary. Thomas Jefferson's skillful use of persuasive rhetoric in the Declaration of Independence, conveyed through compelling arguments, sophisticated syntax, and carefully chosen language, transformed the document into an influential that solidified the American colonies' resolve for separation from oppressive England, resonating not only with the colonists but also with the global audience.

In the first two sections of the Declaration, Jefferson not only builds the credibility of the reformers, but also sets out a logical argument that sets out the philosophical beliefs on which America was founded. In the first passage, he acknowledges the need to justify the powerful position the colonies have taken from their king. He says he sees the need to identify “the causes of such divisions”, showing that he is aware of his responsibility to define colonialism and to have a “respectful attitude toward human ideas”. The use of ethos helps Jefferson to present himself and the converts as rational, respectful and conscientious, although the steps they will take will be drastic and transformative. In the second section, Jefferson presents a logical argument against those acts. He uses a compelling concept in the form of syllogism to clearly present his argument. He asserted that all human beings have rights guaranteed by their Creator, that it is the duty of the state to protect those rights, and that if not, “it is their right, their duty”, to change or abolish that government. He also warned, using ethos, that “long-established governments should not be replaced for simple and short-term reasons, which means that the colonial grievances against the King's persecution must be so great that action needs to be taken of injury and extinction”, and lead to a list of ‘facts’, that will convince his hearers of the truth of these grievances.

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In lines 45 to 148 of the Declaration, Jefferson built his discourse on intelligible thinking, a glossary, and a glossary. Starting in line 45 Jefferson lays out his huge list of complaints the King of England has made against America. He says he is well aware that King George has “refused his legal approval, which is very good and necessary for the benefit of society”, showing that he understands that the colonies have indeed been wronged. The use of persuasive consultation helps Jefferson to present himself and his fellow translators as knowledgeable and sensible. Occurring in lines 45 to 91 the phrase, ‘You have it’, serves to strengthen Jefferson's argument. With its similar structures and anaphora, it captures repeatedly the fact that King George has no doubt committed these specific acts against the colonies. Allowing Jefferson to rule with conviction that the king “is not fit to rule the free people”. In lines 137 to 148 Jefferson ends his argument with a powerful emotional appeal. He says King George has “delighted domestic violence among us”, and that King George has “tried to bring to the people living on our borders, merciless Savages Indians”, to kill them. In all, Thomas Jefferson in lines 45 to 148 of the Declaration of Independence, initiates a logical argument using reason, syntax and dictionary.

In the last two episodes Jefferson uses syntax and ethos to convey the extent to which he and the colonies are willing to sacrifice freely. From the first paragraph of the last two paragraphs, Jefferson uses the phrase, ‘We have it’. It is this same formal expression, ‘We Have’, which is repeated over and over again to show that they have appealed to their brethren, ‘the British brethren’, and that the British are not listening. So, after all these cries of the American people they came to the conclusion that their brethren were not called, ‘Enemies in the War, in the Peace Friends’. Chiasmus completely conveys the fact that Jefferson and the colonists are willing to go to war even with their families for the price of freedom. The chiasmus that completes Jefferson's final second round also strengthens his credibility. It shows that he and his rebels will stand by their 'immeasurable rights', no matter how much it costs. In the last episode Jefferson also continues his loyalty when he called the other converts, ‘The good people of these Colonies’. This statement basically means that the colonies are not civilized beasts who just want to destroy the king, but are actually good people. Jefferson burns the last paragraph with the statement, “we both promise each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Holy Honor”, a shocking statement that ends up painting his speaker and his teams as heroes determined to risk their lives for everything. Overall, the last two sections of the Declaration of Independence served as a last resort for syntax.

By writing the Declaration of Independence Jefferson, not only produced a historical document, but a satisfying work of art that fully convinced his audience of the great American importance that needed to be separated from Britain. Its powerful use of persuasive persuasion, syntax, and dictionary is what made it so appealing. Without this the world as we know it probably did not exist.

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Rhetorical Analysis of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/rhetorical-analysis-of-the-declaration-of-independence-by-thomas-jefferson/
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