1775-1783 Revolutionary Era


            During the Revolutionary Era in American history enlightenment thinkers and individualists were common. This era was when the United States declared independence from Great Britain. This is when the American Revolutionary War was fought. This is when men made great speeches of loyalty and freedom and when religions expanded. But this was also the time of rights and civil liberties being abused. This was a time of British imperialism and expansion, but also of their control over society. The Americans fought these wrongdoings by writing   a very powerful and influential document that changed the entire course of American history. This document is The Declaration of Independence.

            The Declaration of Independence carries with it some very important lessons and themes. The main idea of the document is independence and freedom. The author, Thomas Jefferson, uses formal diction, examples of such are: "impel them to separation", "unalienable rights", "absolute despotisim", "relinquish", "Naturalization of Foreigners", "petitioned for redress", and "unwarrantable jurisdiction."   These words and phrases give the feeling of formality and legality; these emotions apply for both diction and tone.   The author's style is legal and formal, but also historical and informative. This is due to the fact that the original document was intended for the King and high society of Great Britain, we know this because of the document's mention of the king and the history surrounding the documents. The reason behind this document was to alert the King of the problems in the colonies, the wrongs he had committed against them, and to declare themselves independent.

            The idea and issues brought up in the declaration influenced the years to come greatly. The idea of freedom was one of the most important thing that kept the soldiers going .   It was important to keep the ideals of freedom and individualism in mind so that they never lost hope. Without these ideas the United States of America may not be the way it is now...or might not even be here at all, this land could just be an extension of England. This document was very powerful and still is because it addresses key ideas in the topics of rights and civil liberties. This document is what freed us so that we can now live the lives we have. The Declaration of Independence is most likely the most influential and important document in the course of American History. This is what makes U.S. history and American Literature...with out it both would be nonexistent.




Cleveland HS U.S. History class notes

The American Vision: Modern Times. Joyce Appleby, Ph.D. McGrawHill, New York, 2006