The Declaration of Independence is a break up letter from America to King George. American colonists are declaring themselves separate from England. This is a break up letter because America is "breaking up" with England. This document was written before the American Revolution and it stated that America wanted to be its own country. American colonists were not happy with the unfair way Britain ruled them. King George was upset that he now had one less country under his rule. He was probably also mad because he thought he was supporting America but was really not. He believed that even though he was making certain decisions, that doesn't mean he wasn't thinking about America and he thought they were too busy complaining about taxes. After America broke up with King George, he decided to use his relationships with other countries to make America's future difficult and he sent soldiers over. The break up between King George and America did not end of good terms.
A preamble is an introduction that states the purpose of a document. In the preamble, it states that the American colonists have the right to have a good relationship with King George. They state that their rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the Natural Rights. Natural Rights are rights people are born with and they cannot be taken away from them. In the preamble, they also say that it is the Right of the People to alter and abolish any form of government that is destructive to their rights and to make a new government. This preamble relates enlightenment philosophy to the American colonists situation by the line consent of the governed. America is telling King George and England that they want to be separate because they are not following the enlightenment ideas of government and are unfairly ruling America.
A grievance is a cause for complaint or protest, especially unfair treatment. The Americans included grievances in their Declaration of Independence to show the unfair ruling of King George and how they are protesting against Britain and the grievances are the examples they're using to become their own government and country. One grievance is, "He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Offices to harass our people, and eat out their substance. For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us." This is saying that one reason why America should form their own government is because King George sent out British offices to take more control over American colonists. He sent armed troops over and took away their rights. Another grievance is 'For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world. For imposing taxes on us without our consent." This is saying how American colonists broke up with King George becuse he cut off their trade with the world so they can't expand their economy. Also, because he taxed them on a lot of unnecessary things that was working against the colonists and towards King George. King George and the American Colonists did not have a good relationship and King George made it even harder for the colonists to start their own country and government, and that is why America broke up with King George.
In class, we talked about the American Revolution and what lead to it. One question we answered was, "how did the Enlightenment help fuel the American Revolution?" Colonists wanted to have their own government and not be run by the british anymore. One person who agreed with the enlightenment ideas was Thomas Paine. Paine was a writer and he published writings based on the American Revolution and his thoughts on government. In Biography of Thomas Paine Part 1 it says, "but once actual fighting had begun, he became convinced that only complete independence would work.", and "Once independence had been achieved, America could establish a central democratic republican form of government." This shows that Paine agreed with the topic of consent of the governed. Later in the biography, it says, "Paine advocated a declaration of independence to secure European aid and to unite the colonies." which proves that he agreed to the concept of social contract. People in America believed that America had to break its ties with England and once independence was achieved, America could establish a central democratic republican form of government. Paine had some influence on these enlightenment ideas that helped lead to the American Revolution.
Another question my class answered was, "Were most American colonists ready for rebellion?" When Paine's writings came out and people started to listen to him. His supporters then became ready for rebellion and were willing to fight. Some colonists did not agree with Paine and were loyal to the British. They were not comfortable with Paine's ideas and thought he was against their beliefs of government. People who should have loved him, hated him. He was not known as a here because of his views attacking Christianity and organized religion, and he became politicly toxic.
In class, we had to take excerpts from Thomas Paine's Common Sense publishing, and turn them into black out poems. My partner and I were assigned excerpt ten. We first read the excerpt, trying to understand the main idea, and then connect in to enlightenment. After, we circled words throughout the excerpt to make a poem and blacked out the rest of the writing we didn't use. The final poem is all the words that aren't blacked out and it flows throughout the excerpt. The poems had to show that Paine agreed with enlightenment and talk about government in America. Thomas Paine agreed with the ideas of enlightenment and it helped fuel the American Revolution. Many colonists were on Paine's side and were ready for rebellion while others were not.