The Declaration of Independence was a public statement adopted by the United States legislative body in the year 1776. The statement was brought into the open by thirteen states in America that at that time were at war with the United Kingdom. The suggestion was first put into a proposal by John Adams at the start of the year 1776. Way into the middle of the year, it came to realization. It was then that a commission was formed to draft the ideology which was to be passed through congress. The paper discusses the document and the elements that it contains.
What was Radical and New in the Declaration of Independence?
The Declaration of Independence had brought in new ideas, since it was primarily viewed as a document that declared the separation of America from Britain. This new philosophy was brought forward by the fact that the Americans had envisioned that the new country that they had come into would have to be separated from their home country of Britain. Therefore, one of the fundamental factors in the new constitution is that it acted as an officially authorized separation. This is different from what the document is viewed as today. The Declaration was also viewed as a document that called for the end of colonization in the third world and the United States. To some extent, it suggested that the colonies should be given a chance to have an increasing development, since they had never-ending opportunities. This was a key factor, since the drafters had belittled the King to some degree, and the Declaration was a significant step. However, the constitution did not present new ideas as a whole. There were new factors in the constitution, like the introduction of the social contract theory by Locke. This was invoked for the first time in the United States of America. The ideas of equal opportunity, unalienable rights and patently obvious trust were all new-fangled ideas. They were also viewed as fundamental ideas as they touched on issues that had not been discussed earlier by either congress or the people in public.
The most outstanding characteristic of the Declaration is the fact that Jefferson could put all these ideas together to come up with the pronouncement without being self-centered or biased. He additionally initiated new ideas that had previously been tied and proved to be successful in Scotland. The Declaration also marked the first time a committee had been formed to draft a lawful document that would be used officially, and it was essential as it declared the United States a country on its own. The new document also declared the grievances of the Americans against King George - a factor that had not been tried during that period in public. This new happening helped to prove that the United States had taken political shape and was determined to be independent. The announcement of independence was also a key factor as it laid out a strategy in which the newfound thirteen states would rule themselves without exterior interference.
The Declaration was also audacious, and this is something new because the people of America were crying foul over the political tyranny of King George. The drafters even wrote that there was coming a time when there was the need to dissolve a tyrannical government. The Declaration also had new other ideas, since it was drafted when there was a lot of mistreatment, and it called for the right to life. Therefore, it was illegal to kill anyone as the right was now protected under the law. The other new aspect about the draft was the fact that there was the right of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There was also the inclusion of the right to dissolve the government by the people, if it was not adhering to their rights. This was a key element because during that period many governments did not accept opposition. The Declaration also boldly pointed out the suffering that the people had over the British rule, terming it as a rule that had repeated injuries and usurpations. They all had a direct impact that could be traced back to tyranny.
What was Old and Traditional in the Declaration of Independence?
The constitution was not full of new ideas, and that is evident through the nearly three-quarter part of repeated thoughts. The grievances were just ideas that were meant to correspond to the backbone of stress that the American state had after the long war with the United Kingdom. The list was full of issues from apparent injustices and the old traditions that the Americas had been grieving for many years. The grievances that the Declaration contained, which were the same and traditional, included the refused acquiesce to laws by the King that was beneficial to the public. The King had also forbidden his governors to consent to laws that were urgent, and this meant that the subjects of the overseas colonies were always oppressed by the government. The king had also refused to go along with laws that would have ensured that there was an accommodation of large districts. He declared that the people who would join these districts had to renounce the representation that they had in the legislature. The king also called for governmental meeting places far from the colonies, with an objective of fatiguing the representatives. These were recurrent grievances that the American people had and the only difference was that they had made them public this time.
The Declaration was also repetitive when it was written that the King always dissolved parliament, when it gave divergent views about his invasions and the ignorance to the rights of the oppressed. The Declaration also was influential since it touched on the factor that the king had exposed the United Kingdom as a country and the colonies to internal invasion, because he did not adhere to the calls of the people and, therefore, if he could not rule his own nation, then he should not rule the people. The Declaration also cried foul about the fact that the King had refused to call for elections in the colonies so that people could get a representative to help them out whenever they wanted to talk matters out. This factor was old since it had been decried for a long number of years.
The king had also refused to give the nations a chance to develop and did not recognize the democratic strength that the people wanted. This factor was highlighted in the document and was beneficial in bringing out the essence of liberty in the minds of the people. The matter was old, since it had been discussed earlier by the people who had fallen victim to the British tyranny rule under the leadership of the King. The ruler had ensured that the citizens could not get the right to naturalization as he perceived this as a weakness. He had additionally laid rules in which people had to win lands, but the process of owning the piece of land was long and this forced many people to remain landless. For a long period, this issue was decried, and it was an old issue in the Declaration.
The king had also made it hard for people to form their own judiciary system since he wanted direct and full control of the colonies. The American people had decried this matter earlier, but this time they had included it in the Declaration. The little power that he gave to the judges was also bent to his will, and the drafters of the Declaration wanted to rectify this factor. The citizens of the colonies had additionally discussed this matter for a long time, but still the drafters found it necessary to include this grievance in the Declaration. This is a necessary factor in realizing that the Declaration had the same grievances like many colonies, and they were all considered traditional due to the approach that had been tried before. The other traditional grievance in the Declaration was the fact that the king had elected multiple offices in the United States, and he had appointed many officials whose main job was to harass the people who lived there. The Declaration also sought to clarify that the king had rendered the military powerful, but he had put it under his personal control, and the drafters wanted to sort this problem out.
What did Statements like “All Men are Created Equal” Mean in their Historical Context and what did these Words Come to Mean Later?
The interpretation of the word has been shifting in the framework for truly many years. The phrase in the first case meant that all men are to have the same rights as the British people. During the civil war, the implication of the word changed to mean that the African Americans were the same as the whites. Then the phrase changed to mean that men could have the same rights as women in the period after the civil rights movement. Therefore, it is understandable and noteworthy to say that when the Declaration of Independence was written, the meaning of the phrase did not mean what it has evolved to mean in the new era.
In conclusion, the Declaration was a landmark document that discussed many issues in depth to make America better. It was a significant aspect in helping realize the need for equality and independence during the peak of the British rule. Therefore, the document is well placed because it helps people know about the past, and, therefore, they can relate the issues to the future. The matters that were discussed in the document have lost meaning over long time, but there are also those issues that have remained entrenched in the minds of the citizens.