WHY DID JEFFERSON WRITE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?
>Hi, I hope you can answer a question of mine that I >have looked for everywhere and not been able to find. The question is: Why >did Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence? What prompted him >to do that? >Well it would be a lot of help if you can give me somewhere that has that >information, >thanks a bunch Thomas Jefferson was one of the most out-front radicals at the time of the Revolution. He was a "freshman congressman" who rarely, if ever, spoke publicly, and performed poorly when he did. He was assigned the task of preparing the draft for the D of I, probably because of his execellent performance on the "Summary View of the Rights of British America." He was nominated in committee to write the draft because he was the best writer. He had previously written "The Summary View," which was considered too radical at first. Apparently, Congress was ready to turn to its most radical members in mid-1776. My own view is that the D of I is the fundamental philosophical statement of American Self-Government. An interesting study could be made to show how the political principles enunciated there -- equality, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness (which is more than mere property), consent of governed, people's right to change government to what they think will effect their safety and happiness -- found practical realization in the U.S. Constitution. Why did Jefferson do it? He no doubt considered writing the Declaration an honor, a privilege, and a great opportunity to set forth his ideas about why the colonies should separate from Great Britain. Though young (only 33), he was nevertheless one of those at the forefront seeking to establish a new nation. He did it because this was a way of making a great and important contribution to something he thoroughly believed in. He was a great patriot. This was his way of doing something for his country.
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