American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence

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The Declaration of Independence was written on July 4, 1776, in order to aid other nations in understanding why the 13 American colonies took initiative on deciding to divide themselves from Great Britain. Thomas Paine was a writer, most popular for publishing his pamphlet called Common Sense- where his arguments leaned toward favoring the idea of independence for America. His works significantly encouraged colonists to separate from Great Britain, as well as greatly impacting the outcome of the American Revolution.

Moreover, Paine’s ideas were instrumental in inspiring a reason as to why the Declaration of Independence became a plausible idea for Thomas Jefferson. Ultimately, the Declaration’s central persuasive message was that all men are created equal and should be able to govern themselves without the king of England. Paine’s pamphlet, as well as the Declaration, persuaded the colonists to seek independence, as they had already shared similar beliefs to the ones mentioned in Common Sense. The Revolutionary War had begun on April 19, 1775, Prior to the Declaration of Independence.

There were many Colonists who remained loyal to the Crown, granting them the name “loyalists.” The loyalists did not support the American Revolution, and many had their property displaced and or fled America after the war. They journeyed to both Canada and Great Britain during and immediately following the war’s end. Both the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence were crucial in allowing America to gain its independence, and are the foremost reasons as to why America is non-aligned to Great Britain today.

Thomas Paine began his argument for independence with an attack on the principle of monarchy and hereditary succession because he despised the idea of the crown having a substantial amount of rights, as well as power, over all others. He believed that “the distinction of men into kings and subjects” was unnecessary and uncalled for (Foner 98). He thought that monarchy was a dead system which ultimately led from one bad leader to the next. Paine attacked the monarchy way of government because the colonists related to experiencing the horror.

They initially wanted to rebel against the crown, so by being against the government, his intentions were to persuade the people into underpinning the lobby for independence. It was clear in his pamphlet that he was opposed to “how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species,” and how it is not certain that this system causes “happiness [but instead causes,] misery to mankind” (Foner 98). Paine’s tactic was used to bear support on the revolt in opposition to Great Britain. He was able to convey the persuasive message that dividing from Britain would lead to an overall better life.

Thomas Paine’s works affected Thomas Jefferson’s eventual Declaration because his works, more specifically, “Common Sense argued for independence by denouncing monarchy and challenging the logic behind the British Empire”, while further explaining that, “there is something absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island” (The American Yawp). Jefferson, like Paine and many other people during this time period, had libertarian ideas that were very well liked regarding equality and politics.

Jefferson was obviously influenced by Paine’s ideas for American independence. Due to Paine’s “combination of easy language, biblical references, and fiery rhetoric proved potent, and the pamphlet was quickly published throughout the colonies” which sparked obvious interest in Jefferson (The American Yawp). Common Sense had greatly impacted the decision of going through with the declaration because so many of its ideas were portrayed throughout Jefferson’s final draft. The work joined the common people as well as political leaders, including Jefferson, to partake in finally attaining American Independence.

Thomas Paine was very persuasive and used logical points in his works in order to prove that all men are created equal, which consequently is the main idea of the Declaration of Independence. By detailing that people are born into not having a choice of whether or not they “deserve some decent degree of honors- yet [their] descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them,” further proved Paine and the Declaration’s point that all men are made the same (Foner 99). Additionally, making it is unjust that people were treated otherwise- due to the fact that being born a specific way or race is not a choice, and is ultimately uncontrollable.

Another main proposition of the Declaration, is the idea that people should be able to govern themselves without the king of England. Paine explains that ”that the antiquity of English monarchy will not bear looking into”- which was a plea to create a democracy for the new nation (Foner 99). The Declaration of Independence used evidence such as the line regarding men being created equal and how “ they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” in order to make its case above (Jefferson).

I believe that the colonists found both the Declaration and Paine’s pamphlet to be persuasive because they each motivated the colonists to seek independence, as they had already shared similar beliefs to the ones mentioned in each of the writings. The overall message that separating from Britain would lead to a better life definitely sparked interest- in the once loyal colonists- in order to pursue this decision. Jefferson just wanted to persuade the citizens to agree with the American rebels because the British government was to be overthrown due to the fact that it was not protecting the citizen’s rights.

During the Revolutionary War there were many colonists who stayed faithful to the Crown, hence their name, “loyalists.” The loyalists did not approve of the American Revolution, and as their fate, many “loyalists lost property during the war because of their allegiance” and or fled America after the war (The American Yawp). These people journeyed to both Canada and Great Britain during and immediately following the war’s end, in 1783. During this time, “thousands of Loyalist former slaves [also] fled with the British army” which showed that these loyalists clearly deemed England to be better than America (The American Yawp). Because the loyalists were mainly rich and educated people, the American culture and way of life was not the same and severely shifted due to their egress.

In summary, the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence were major catalysts in dividing America from Great Britain. Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson were two of the men who effectively led and inspired the lobby for American independence. With the help from these people and events, America was able to successfully separate from Great Britain which gave us our independence today.

Cite this paper

American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/american-revolution-and-the-declaration-of-independence/



Was the American Revolution after the Declaration of Independence?
Yes, the American Revolution began after the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. The war for independence lasted from 1775 to 1783.
Was the Declaration of Independence before the American Revolution?
Yes, the Declaration of Independence was written before the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, and the American Revolution began in 1775.
What revolutions were inspired by the Declaration of Independence?
The Declaration of Independence inspired revolutions in the United States and France.
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