Recently, I have been reading the Declaration Of Independence. I am certain that I have read at least parts of it over the years, but I wanted to get a better feel for it. I wanted to know for certain that I understood what I thought I understood.
I thought that the best way of knowing would be if I could put the Declaration into my own words, much like the explanations of the Pledge Of Allegiance that were the topic of a previous entry. And so, I have written my own description of the Declaration Of Independence.
When I wrote this description, I envisioned it as a presentation to a group of students; probably elementary school students. More than likely, they had heard of the Declaration, but had not yet studied it. Here is how I would describe it to them:
“It is easier to understand the Declaration Of Independence when you realize that it can be broken down into three sections. In the first section, the Continental Congress is explaining why this step is necessary:
“We, the United States Of America, are declaring our separation and independence from Great Britain. In doing so, we feel it only just, right, and proper that we present our reasons and arguments for doing so to the rest of the world. We have the following grievances against the present King of Great Britain:
“The second section is a list of those grievances, which the Continental Congress hoped would demonstrate how King George III had violated the rights of the colonists repeatedly. Those charges and grievances, they felt, were proof that he was no longer fit to rule the colonies.
“The Continental Congress also mentioned that they had made appeals to the people of Great Britain, hoping that they might convince the British Parliament and the King to reverse his stand on the colonies.
“In the third and final section, the Continental Congress stated why they finally concluded that any connections with Great Britain must be broken:
“We have tried to resolve these grievances and differences many times, only to have those overtures rejected at every attempt. We regret that we must do this, but as a last resort, we hereby declare that the United States are now free and independent, and that all ties to and with Great Britain are hereby dissolved.”
How well does this stand as an interpretation of the Declaration Of Independence?