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Thomas Jefferson - Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson
Third President
Born: April 13, 1743 in Albermarle County, Virginia to Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor, and Jane Randolph, daughter of a prominent Virginia family.
-studies mat, phil,(his idols: Bacon, Newton, Locke (at becomes fluent in French, continues to study law
-after Franklin another man of enlightment leading the United States
: known not only for being a president of USA (third) and governor of Virginia but as well as scientist:
architect: he designed and built his mansion/house at Monticello
agriculturalist (tripled inherited land from his father, turned into prosperous farm)
educator, founder of present Democratic Party
Diplomat: served as first Secretary of State and minister to France
And writer: he wrote only one book: Notes on the state of Virginia
But wrote hundreds of letters, essays…concerning various issues from religious freedom, through international issues…addressing many people
=>He’s founder of university of Virginia
=>His vast collection of books, served as a basic for American Library of Congress
-his personal characteristics/traits : active (in many areas as I mentioned above)
but in comp. to BF, he was philosopher and thinker, but always tried to use ideas practically
=> he was famous for his pragmatic and utilitarian thinking: again (as BF, characteristics, that has been valued in America for centuries)
Died: July 4, 1826 in Monticello in Virginia

Declaration of Independence

=>Continental Congress on June 11 appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston as a committee to draft a declaration of independence.
=> The Declaration was designed to influence public opinion and gain support both among the new states and abroad -- especially in France, from which the new "United States" sought military assistance
The Declaration of Independence is made up of five distinct parts:
the introduction; the preambule; the body which can be divided into two sections;and a conclusion.
The introduction states that this document will "declare" the "causes" that have made it necessary for the American colonies to leave the British Empire.

Having stated in the introduction that independence is unavoidable, even necessary,
the preamble sets out principles that were already recognized to be "self-evident" by most 18th- century Englishmen
=>these principles or rights are that all men are created equal and that they were given certain rights by their Creator: Life, liberty and Pursuit of hapiness
=> source for these Natural Right s is philosophy of John Locke (two treaties of government)
=> Locke's theory held that government was a contract between the governed and those governing, who derived their power solely from the consent of the governed and it was government’ responsibility to protect peoples inherent right to property, life and liberty
=>Jefferson decided to change property for pursuit of happiness (property happy? ,slaves?)
, closing with the statement that "a long train of abuses and usurpations. . . evinces a design to reduce [a people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
=>which basically means that: Jefferson emphasized the contractual justification for independence, arguing that when the tyrannical government of King George III of England repeatedly violated "natural law, " the colonists had not only the right but the duty to revolt. The first section of the body of the Declaration gives evidence of the "long train of abuses and usurpations" heaped upon the colonists by King George III. The second section of the body states that the colonists had appealed in vain to their "British brethren" for a redress of their grievances. Having stated the conditions that made independence necessary and having shown that those conditions existed in British North America,
the Declaration concludes that "these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved."
and that these states have all the rights of Independents states;such as: declare war or Peace, do business-between themselves and on the international level, make different laws…
=>the Declaration was work of Jefferson himself
Revised first by Adams, then by Franklin, and then by the full committee, a total of forty-seven alterations including the insertion of three complete paragraphs was made on the text before it was presented to Congress on June 28. After voting for independence on July 2, the Congress then continued to refine the document, making thirty-nine additional revisions to the committee draft before its final adoption on the morning of July 4.
=>The assembled Continental Congress deleted a few passages of the draft, and amended others, but outright rejected only two sections:
1) a derogatory reference to the English people;
2) a passionate denunciation of the slave trade.
The latter section was left out, as Jefferson reported, to accede to the wishes of South Carolina and Georgia, who wanted to continue the importation of slaves. The rest of the draft was accepted on July 4, and 56 members of Congress began their formal signing of the document on August 2, 1776.

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