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Module 11 Discussion: Enlightenment Ideals in the American Declaration of Independence

Below is a link to the final draft of the American Declaration of Independence. The Continental Congress selected a five-man committee to draft a formal declaration of independence. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin. The Declaration of Independence was written largely by Thomas Jefferson. Congress formally adopted the declaration on July 4, 1776.

Please read the Declaration of Independence and answer the following discussion questions in no less than 200 words.

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http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1776-1785/the-final-text-of-the-declaration-of-independence-july-4-1776.php

Source: “The Final Text of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776,” American Revolution website

Discussion Questions:

1. According to the opening passages of the Declaration of Independence, what are men endowed with by God? From where does a government derive its power and authority? If a government endangers the natural rights of its citizens, what can those citizens do?

2. What are some of the American colonists’ grievances against King George III?

3. How does the Declaration of Independence reflect Enlightenment ideals?

Political Science Developments Discussion