Rhetorical Analysis Of Thomas Jefferson's The Declaration Of Independence

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Thomas Jefferson’s The Declaration of Independence is an extremely well-known essay written in 1776 to declare independence from the British monarchy. He is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and has written many of the principles used in government today. His argument is exceptionally clear and famously defiant, and along with the many forms of rhetorical devices, seamlessly presents an effective reason to secede from Great Britain. The purpose is to tell the colonies and the British government why his peers and himself believe that the colonies need to separate from the British crown. Jefferson uses the first two paragraphs to explain how the colonists have natural rights that they cannot lose from any government, defining those rights as “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” He then explains how the colonists should not submit to a government that infringes upon those rights and can replace the abusive government with one that fits their principles of freedom. Jefferson uses his political standing as an elite representative of Virginia to lead his readers to trust him. Another example of ethos presented is the references to John Locke throughout the essay. John Locke is a very influential author at this time, writing about the idea of natural, God-given rights. This shows readers that Jefferson agrees with the popular idea, and yes, they can trust him. Appeals to logic are effective with the audience. He first defines the rights that he believes
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