Jefferson’s Justification for the American Revolution Essay

Even after contending in the American Revolutionary War began at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. most settlers still hoped for rapprochement with Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson saw a demand to warrant this revolution in the eyes of the people. He. and other establishing male parents. knew that for this rebellion to be successful. all 13 settlements and their citizens must be united in a common end. For Jefferson to accomplish integrity amongst the settlers. he had to demo that misdemeanors of jurisprudence and maltreatment of basic rights existed under the current British regulation.

The Declaration of Independence. written mostly by Thomas Jefferson. is a statement of what authorities is and from what beginning it may deduce its powers. It begins with a sum-up of those unalienable rights that are the footing for a free society and to protect those rights. what powers a merely authorities may exert. By Jefferson’s ain admittance. the Declaration of Independence contained no original thoughts. but was alternatively a statement of sentiments widely shared by protagonists of the American Revolution. As he explained in 1825:

Neither taking at originality of rule or sentiment. nor yet copied from any peculiar and old authorship. it was intended to be an look of the American head. and to give to that look the proper tone and spirit called for by the juncture.

Jefferson’s most immediate beginnings were two paperss written in June 1776: his ain bill of exchange of the preamble of the Constitution of Virginia. and George Mason’s bill of exchange of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Ideas and phrases from both of these paperss appear in the Declaration of Independence. They were in bend straight influenced by the 1689 English Declaration of Rights. which officially ended the reign of King James II. During the American Revolution. Jefferson and other Americans looked to the English Declaration of Rights as a theoretical account of how to stop the reign of an unfair male monarch. ( Maier. 1997 )

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“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of perennial hurts and trespasss. all holding in direct object the constitution of an absolute dictatorship over these provinces. To turn out this. allow facts be submitted to a blunt world…” ( Davenport. 2009 )

The Declaration so goes on to name specific misdemeanors against the settlers by the King. These “violations” made it clear to the population that they were being treated below the belt and that they had every right to revolt against the King. who Jefferson refers to as a “tyrant” . As the war was already ramping. the Declaration of Independence gave farther justification for America’s independency. There was clear separation amongst the provinces as to if the revolution was founded. Jefferson’s listing of maltreatments and misdemeanors of basic rights are clearly aimed at the King of Britain and his monarchy. The Declaration brought acknowledgment of these unfairnesss to every citizen. and therefore. justification of the American Revolution.

After the war. another challenge remained ; how to forestall these maltreatments from happening in the new democracy? Enter the Constitution of the United States of America. 1788. The Constitution. by both its design and the footings used as written. bounds authorities to the powers delegated. Our Fundamental law is a closed legal and logical system that declares itself and the Torahs made pursuant to it. to be the supreme jurisprudence of the land. and that is the lone jurisprudence that it allows. There is no room in it for “inherent crowned head immunity” . The intent of authorities is to keep a society which secures to every member the inherent and unalienable rights of adult male. and promotes the safety and felicity of its people. Protecting these rights from misdemeanor. therefore. is its primary duty. ( Maier. 1997 )

“The Supreme Law of the Land” is “The Constitution as it is written” and the Torahs made pursuant thereto. Its readings are non the supreme jurisprudence of the land. They are mere readings that may or may non be right. or may even be dishonest and unreliable to it. “Who will regulate the governors? ” There is merely one force in the state that can be depended upon to maintain the authorities pure and the governors honest. and that is the people themselves. They entirely. if good informed. are capable of forestalling the corruptness of power. and of reconstructing the state to its rightful class if it should travel astray. They entirely are the safest depositary of the ultimate powers of authorities. ( Coates. 1999 )

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I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves ; and if we think them non enlightened plenty to exert their control with a wholesome discretion. the redress is non to take it from them. but to inform their discretion by instruction. This is the true restorative of maltreatments of constitutional power. – Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis. 1820

In the Constitution and the first 10 amendments. it is clear that the authorities remain. “of the people” . Besides. that no province or local authorities shall supplant the authorization of the federal authorities or rebellion against it. By representation in the Senate and Congress. each province is given a voice in the federal authorities.

The last hope of human autonomy in this universe rests on us. . . . If we move in mass. be it of all time so circuitously. we shall achieve our object ; but if we break into squads. every one prosecuting the way he thinks most direct. we become an easy conquering to those who can now hardly hold us in cheque.

I repeat once more. that we ought non to schismatize on either work forces or steps. Principles entirely can warrant that. If we find our authorities in all its subdivisions hotfooting headfirst. like our predecessors. into the weaponries of monarchy. if we find them go againsting our beloved rights. the test by jury. the freedom of the imperativeness. the freedom of sentiment. civil or spiritual. or opening on our peace of head or personal safety the penstocks of terrorist act. if we see them raising standing ground forcess. when the absence of all other danger points to these as the exclusive objects on which they are to be employed. so so allow us retreat and name the state to its collapsible shelters.

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But while our officials are wise. and honest. and argus-eyed. allow us travel compactly under their counsel. and we have nil to fear. Thingss may here and at that place travel a small incorrect. It is non in their power to forestall it. But all will be right in the terminal. though non possibly by the shortest means. – Thomas Jefferson to Colonel Wm. Duane. 1811

Obviously. Jefferson and the establishing male parents saw that excessively much power was given a monarchy and the Constitution clearly shows how power is to be divided in the new democracy. Basic civil rights are besides listed so that they can non be infringed upon or abused. By declaring these rights and division of authorization. the democracy and its Constitution. ensures that these maltreatments will non go on once more. As the Declaration of Independence united the settlements. so excessively did the Constitution unite the people’s rights.


Coates. Eyler ( 1999 ) . _Thomas Jefferson on Politics & A ; Government. _ Retrieved May 4. 2009. from

hypertext transfer protocol: //etext. Virginia. edu/jefferson/quotations/

Davenport. Anniken ( 2009 ) . _Basic Criminal Law – The Constitution. Procedure. and Crimes. _ Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall Publishing

Maier. Pauline ( 1997 ) . _American Bible: Making the Declaration of Independence. _ New York: Knopf Publishing.