Declaration of Independence Essay

366 WordsOct 25, 20132 Pages
Raihan Ashraf October 3rd 2013 Ms. Steiker Period 2 AP U.S History 1. What is the purpose of the Declaration of Independence, as stated in the introductory paragraph? What do you think Jefferson meant when he said that all men are created equal? The main purpose of America's Declaration of Independence was to explain to foreign nations why the colonies had chosen to separate themselves from Great Britain. On June 7, 1776, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Richard Henry Lee voiced a resolution that the United States ought to be completely free of England's influence, and that all political ties between the two countries should be dissolved. For Jefferson, the phrase "…that all men are created equal…" really meant that "all free, property-owning males are created equal". This meant that those men had equal rights and no one was seen less in the light of law. 2. How could some of the signers justify their position as slaveholders in light of the ideals of the document? Equality is hard to define because its meaning keeps changing. Jefferson's restrictive definition, that "people are of equal moral worth, and as such deserve equal treatment under the law", made distinctions for free men vs. slaves. Signers of the Declaration of Independence really mean that “all free, property owning males are created equal. 3. How was Jefferson’s Deist thinking expressed in the document? Of all the American founders, Thomas Jefferson is most closely associated with deism, the Enlightenment faith in a rational, law-governed world created by a “supreme being.” Jefferson expressed deist ideologies such as Nature’s God and Laws of Nature in a few places in the declaration of independence. The introductory paragraph says that all people are entitled to natural rights, Laws of Nature and Nature’s God. The religious views of Jefferson have been unclear but in various documents, he

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