Difference Between the Draft and the Original Product of Thomas Jefferson on Declaration of Independence – Annotated Bibliography

Bassani, M. L. “Life, Liberty and …: Jefferson on Property Rights.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, 2004: 18(1): 31-87.

This article focused on Jefferson thinking about the right of men in the declaration of independence. In the draft product of declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson clearly exhibited his radical political thinking. The article analyzed the draft product and found that Jefferson had embodied his vision of the proper relations between the federation and the states. The original draft was partially emended and adopted by both Kentucky assembly and Continental Congress. According to this article, Jefferson in declaration of independence believed that property was a natural right.

Read also Lives, Attitudes and Presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson

            This article analyzed the preamble to the Declaration of Independence and outlined the difference between the Jefferson’s draft product and the original product. Some of the changes that was identified in this article included the changing of the wording from “sacred and undeniable” truth in the draft to become “self-evident” truth in the original product. This article concluded that the expression of “self-evident” lies the entire epistemology of Jeffersonian natural law. This article is useful in addressing this topic since it juxtaposes the draft and the original product.

Capansky, T. The Declaration of Independence: A New Genre in Political Discourse or Mixed Genre in an Unlikely Medium. PhD Thesis, East Carolina University, 2011.

This dissertation focused on the content and packaging of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. In addition, this dissertation analyzed the events that preceded the drafting of Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. According to this article, Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence exhibited his ability to write with an audience in mind. This is a unique ability that was evident in the plethora of letters that Jefferson exchanged prior and post the Declaration of Independent. Analysis of both draft and original product on Declaration of Independence showed that Jefferson borrowed most of the words from other text.

Read also Comparison Paper – Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Thomas Jefferson’s Letter

This article found that Jefferson used thoughts, language and terms that were borrowed from the Constitution of Virginia, “Declaration of Rights” by George Mason, English Declaration of Rights, Common Sense and Second Treatise on Government. Based on these findings, this article concluded that Thomas Jefferson developed Declaration of Independence based entirely on Lockean principles or Scottish Enlightenment with the objective of making the document more acceptable to the forward-looking American. This document is useful to this project since it analyzed the grounds that preceded the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

Jayne, A. Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence: Origins, Philosophy, and Theology. Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1998.

            This article analyzed the history of America from philosophical and theological perspective with the objective of understanding the implications of Declaration of Independence. This article focused on bringing out the intentions of Jefferson while drafting the Declaration of Independence. According to this article, Jefferson wanted the diverse population of America to accept the declarations. From this article, it was evident that the Judeo-Christian orthodoxy were antidemocratic and antiegalitarian at the time of the America Revolution. The article argued that Jefferson admitted that the content and packing of the Declaration of Independence was not his original ideals and most of the terms and language used was borrowed in order to appeal to this group of people in the American society.

Read also Evolution From Jeffersonian Democracy To Jacksonian Democracy

            Further analysis from this article showed that John Lockie’s Second Treatise of Government greatly influenced on Jefferson ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence. For example, Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “We hold these Truth to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Which was borrowed from Lockean idea that “all Men by Nature are equal”. This article is useful because it provides the historical foundation of American history from philosophical and theological perspective in relations to Declaration of Independence.

Lennon, T.,. A Closer Look at Jefferson’s Declaration. New York: New York Public Library, 2012.

            This book analyzed the process that Jefferson followed in drafting the Declaration of Independence. The findings from the book showed that Jefferson drafted the Declaration between June 11 and June 28, 1776. In his autobiography, Jefferson stated that “The committee for drawing the Declaration of Independence desired me to do it. It was accordingly done”. Further findings showed that Jefferson worked on at least one heavily edited draft prior to completing the original ‘rough draft’.

            The book divided the draft of Declaration of Independence into three parts: the people’s individuals rights, grievances against the King of England and the formal declaration of Independence. According to this book, it is clear that the review by Adams and Franklin resulted into the change words such as “self-evident” and replaced with “sacred and undeniable.” This book is useful to this topic because it highlighted the number of drafts that Jefferson wrote before submitting the original ‘rough draft’ for review. This brings a clear distinction between the draft and the original product of Declaration of Independent.

Wilfred, J. R. “From the Here of Jefferson’s Handwritten Rough Draft of the Declaration of Independence to the There of the Printed Dunlap Broadside.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography, 1992: CXVI(4): 501-512.

This article discussed how the congressed revised a four-page handwritten report from Jefferson and developed the final text of Declaration of Independent. Prior to revising the text, the members of Congress passed a motion that allowed them to rearrange language, change language, add language and strike language. Analysis of this article showed that members of Congress heavily relied on the printers to produce documents to be discussed and voted in the house. This means that Jefferson original rough draft was printed and distributed to all members and was submitted by the committee tasked with the responsibility of preparing a Declaration of Independence. According to this article, the difference between the draft and the original product of Thomas Jefferson on Declaration of Independence, was the terms and language used. After submitting the draft to Adams and Franklin for review, some words were changed with the objective of bring all the American to accept the text. This means that some words that were in the draft were replaced with other words that were more appealing. This article is useful because it analyzed the transition of the draft into the development of the original draft.

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