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Warm-Up This semester we are exploring two foundational questions explored in early American writing. What is an American? And How should American act?

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Presentation on theme: "Warm-Up This semester we are exploring two foundational questions explored in early American writing. What is an American? And How should American act?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Warm-Up This semester we are exploring two foundational questions explored in early American writing. What is an American? And How should American act? Based on the autobiographical narrative “The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano,” how would Olaudah Equiano answer these questions? Use evidence and examples found in the narrative.

2 From The Autobiography: The Declaration of Independence
By Thomas Jefferson

3 During Today’s Lesson Learn about the process of drafting the Declaration of Independence and how it shows and attempt to answer the questions “What is an American? How should an American act?” Identify the purpose, tone, and stylistic devices within Thomas Jefferson’s political treatise against the British crown.

Sermons Autobiographies Political Documents Journals/Diaries

5 Tone: the attitude a writer takes toward the subject of a work
Objective (Informational) v. Subjective (Emotional) Tone is dependent on diction (word choice) and style. Style: The distinctive way in which a writer uses language. This includes sentence length, complexity, syntax, figurative language and word choice. Formal v. Infomal

6 PARALLELISM A.K.A. Parallel Structure
The repetition of words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. For example, in The Declaration of Independence Jefferson cites truths that are “self-evident,” he begins each clause with “that.” He also begins a long series of paragraphs with the words “He has.” Jefferson’s use of parallelism creates a stately rhythm or cadence. Listen for this as you read.

7 Predict: What is the tone? style?
“Prudence, indeed will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes...” … “Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is not the necessity which constrains them to expunge their former systems of government.” … “He has abdicated government here withdrawing his governors and declaring us out of his allegiance and protection.” “He has incited treasonable insurrections of our fellow citizens, with the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation of our property.” “These facts have given the last stab to agonizing affection, and manly spirit bids us to renounce forever these unfeeling brethren.”

8 Predict: What is the tone?
“We will tread it apart from them and acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our eternal separation.”


10 STRUCTURE INTRODUCTION: Introduces the purpose and central argument of the document. THE PREAMBLE: Jefferson begins with a statement of premises and assumptions. THE CASE AGAINST KING GEORGE III: The author then lists evidence to support those premises in the series of claims beginning with "He" (in reference to King George of England). One of these claims, dealing with disruption of the legal system, is further supported with evidence in a secondary series of claims, beginning with "for.” ATTEMPTS AT REDRESS: He follows this list of complaints against the King with a list of attempts by the colonists to find redress and make the relationship work out. CONCLUSION: Having asserted its premises and itemized its evidence, the Declaration then proceeds to draw its conclusion, introduced by that clearest of conclusion indicators, "therefore."

11 By completing the SOAPS, students practice
Identifying the purpose and historical context.

12 “When in the course…” Find parallelism in the preamble:

13 “We hold these truths…” Find an example of parallelism:

14 Evidence against King George: Find an example of loaded words which express tone:

15 Evidence of colony’s attempts to make the relationship work out: Find an example of loaded words which express tone:

16 Conclusion: “We therefore…”

17 NOTES: As you read… What truths does Jefferson consider self-evident?
That 1) all men were created equal with certain unalienable rights which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness 2) That governments were made through people’s consent to protect these rights 3) If they don’t, the same people have the right to abolish it.

18 What is the main argument of the Declaration of independence?
The colonies must declare their independence from King George. What are key facts that support this main argument? King George has abused his powers by… a. Making laws and taxing without consent. b. Committing acts of war against them. c. Taking away their rights to due process. Prosecuting without proper court procedures.

19 What are some examples of parallel structure and loaded words?

20 Today’s Objective: EXPLAIN the purpose of the Declaration of Independence and identify how Jefferson uses parallel structure and loaded words to communicate his ideas. YOU WILL SHOW YOU CAN DO THIS BY: Writing a summary of the text. Answering Selection Questions Completing the Dialectical Journal.





25 _____ 1. Thomas Jefferson’s father was a modest farmer.
_____ 2. Thomas Jefferson did not have a former education and was only trained to care for his family痴 small farm. _____ 3. After attending the College of William and Mary, Jefferson became a lawyer and member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. _____ 4. Jefferson’s political career included being governor of Virginia, minister to France, secretary of state, vice president, and president of the United States. _____5. Jeffersonian democracy included the belief in creating a strong central federal government that told the states what to do. _____6. The main idea of the Declaration of Independence is that the King of England should allow free press and freedom of religion in the colonies. _____7. Jefferson supports his main argument by making a case against the institution of slavery. _____8. Jefferson emphasizes that the colonists want guidance from the British Parliament.

26 ____9. According to the Declaration of Independence, colonists are at odds with their current government because the whole notion of a king is upsetting to them. _____10. The line which states we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor is an example of parallelism. _____11. In parallelism, conjunctions are always linked by conjunctions. _____ 12. Jefferson did not care that Congress deleted passages from his original draft. _____ 13. Jefferson believes it is important to show how the original version of the Declaration of Independence was amended because he is not sure which is better.

27 _____ 14. Every kind of liberty we enjoy should be balanced with responsibility. Why or why not?
______15. Jefferson should have fought to keep his indictment against the slave trade in the Declaration of Independence to show consistency in his ideas of equality and freedom. Why or why not? ______16. Freedom can bring both gains and losses. Why or why not?


29 What changes made in the text show a desire not to make an absolute break with the English people? (p. 102) Why do you think it would be important that the new nation maintain its consaguinity or close kinship, with English people. Find the section on slave trade that was omitted (p. 102). According to Jefferson, what political concerns prompted the omission of this passage (p. 97). Find two passages in the Declaration that use parallelism. What is the effect of the parallel structure on the idea of the passage. Find at least five details in the document that use loaded words to cite factual support. What emotions are revealed in the use of charged language?


31 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (p. 98)

32 But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them 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.

33 In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

34 Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

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