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Declaration of Independence - Rethorical Analysis

  • Submitted by: andreaticu
  • on April 4, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 413 words

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The main purpose of America’s Declaration of Independence is to explain to foreign nations why the colonies had chosen to separate themselves from Great Britain.

Ethos represents the credibility of the author, or the credibility of the representatives of the document. In the Declaration of Independence, ethos is used a few times in order to convince the readers that he knows what he’s talking about. For example in the first paragraph, Jefferson explains that the only reason he’s doing this is out of respect. He also establishes their ethical morals - that they are men of good sense, good character and good will.
In the paragraph that starts with “Prudence, indeed, will dictate” , the writers note their prudence; that they are cautious and reasonable men. Furthermore in the last paragraph the writers appeal to God, and rely “on the protection of divine Providence”. They say that God is on their side.

Whenever Jefferson uses negative diction he is able to appeal to pathos, or the emotions of the readers. Some of the words he says to appeal to pathos are “Tyrants”, “dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within” and “swarms of Officers to harass our people”.
The emotional language reaches its peak at the end of the document, where Jefferson cites the king’s actions, “he has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people”. “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of free people.”

Logos is the logic he used in the argument. The writers stated their beliefs which become a major premise in the argument. The Major premise is that the role of the government is to protect the rights of the people, when the government fails to do so, the people have the right to change it. The Minor premise however is that the British government has usurped the rights of the colonists.. This leading to the conclusion that they have no choice but to overthrow...

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