In The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, one of the United States Founding Fathers, explains to his audience why the colonies are choosing to end the political connection with Britain. Jefferson informs his readers that Britain has failed to stick to its responsibilities to its colonists. His second goal is to justify their actions by explaining why the actions were necessary. Jefferson is able to clearly get his message across by using a variation of different rhetorical devices, which include ethos, pathos, logos, formal language, and repetition. With these techniques he was able to appeal his audience to their emotions, ethics, and logics, helping prove his point.
Jefferson uses a very formal and professional tone in his wording, but he also conveys an enraged tone all at the same time. The way he uses the descriptive language as well as his wide range of vocabulary, shows that he is intelligent. He uses ethos to lead up to what King George has done, he doesn’t just tell his readers that he is a tyrant he leads them into it. When he writes,”The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states,” it shows how he is angered by King George’s actions, but he doesn’t let his anger get blown over.
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Jefferson uses a lot of reasoning to why King George is “an absolute tyranny.” When Jefferson uses repetition on the words “he has” he is talking about the king, he telling his readers every wrong thing the king has done. The repetition shows how passionate Jefferson is about the unfairness of the government. Jefferson blames the King for their horrible conditions and shines a brighter light on the poor state by using imagery, “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their importance.” This give a very vivid description to add on to the image of people suffering.
This was Jefferson’s way of making his case to King George.`