The Declaration of Independence is considered as one of the document that was written with great masterly skills of the modern civilization. It has to be agreed that the document encompassed great merits in regard to stylistic artistry. The Declaration of Independence is a document that can be argued to be an argumentation/persuasive one on one hand and a declaration on the other when the writing style employed in the document is analyzed.
This paper shall seek to exemplify supporting arguments presented either side to claim that the Declaration of Independence document adopted their respective style of writing. Argumentation/Persuasion Techniques: Argumentation and/or persuasive essays are usually implied to convince people to be on the side of the one presenting the case. Though there is a small difference between the two concepts, there main objective is to assert some form of influence.
An argument appreciates the fact that people may be holding different views on a particular issue whereas persuasion is of the view that only a particular way of reasoning is sensible. Thus argumentation is driven by recognition of existence of other different views whereas persuasion is driven by personal conviction (Campsall, para 3). The style is usually designed to win support even from the unlikely quotas that could still be having some doubts about the course being advocated for.
In an argumentative/persuasive writing, the author seeks to win support by convincing others to view things from his/her perspective. As for the Declaration of Independence document, there was need for the thirteen states to come together and renounce the colonialists’ occupation. In order to win the support of all the states, the Declaration of Independence document was to be binding and provides common ground for the thirteen states. The Declaration of Independence can be said to have employed some of the techniques that qualifies it to be an argumentative/persuasive document.
Argumentative/persuasive essay usually has various techniques that distinguish it from the other styles of writing. One such technique employed includes the sensible and logical reasoning that is backed with evidence. When an argument is backed with these elements, it becomes easier to convince the other parties about the importance of changing their views. This is necessary because it is assumed that the other party already has a stand point on the issue and thus convincing them requires some sensible reasoning and proven evidence for them to abandon their previously held opinion.
The other technique to ensure a successful argumentative/persuasive undertaking requires that the one presenting the argument need to have planned well to ensure that the facts are being released in a progressive and convincing manner. The individual needs to indicate that the response is consciously shaped and this could add some weight to the convincing power. Trust is equally important in this case. For one to be able to win an argument there has to be some trust in whatever he/she is arguing for.
If people do not believe in you or what you are saying, then nobody shall be convinced by what you are arguing for. Thus there is need to make up some solid and believable reasoning as to why you are better placed to argue for a particular course (Campsall, para 9). The other technique in winning an argument is to find a common ground which exists amongst the groups. This is an end point that is desirable to both or all of you. The common ground presents us with a unifying factor in an argument and thus articulate the best way towards achieving this common ground.
In this way one is able to persuade other to join his bandwagon in achieving this common end. The fourth technique used by the argumentative/persuasive writing is the use of interesting anecdote that is both reasonable and realistic in illustrating the main points of your argument. This can be helpful as it has compelling and powerful effect on the individuals (Campsall, para 10). Paragraph to Support Claim: It can be argued that the Declaration of Independence is an argumentation/persuasive writing meant to convince the Americans to fight the British occupation during the 18th century.
In the opening sentence, the Declaration goes; When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation (Boyd, et al, p 429). From this, it can be argued that the declaration was meant to reflect the voices of the oppressed people.
Various argumentation and persuasion techniques have been employed in the document in a manner to convince and/or influence the people to break away from the British Empire. The factual evidence has been elaborated in the document to convince people on the importance of independence. The authors also did plan their work very prudently giving insights for the suffering that the American people have had to undergo under the British rule. The document holds that all individuals are created equal and that the creator endowed them with unalienable rights which includes life liberty and pursuit of happiness (Archiving Early America, para 2).
The King has been identified as the stumbling block towards the achievement of these inalienable rights. In part the Declaration states that “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” (Boyd, et al, p 430). It also provides a list of evidence on misgivings that have been overseen by the monarchy and calls for the Americans to rise up to the occasion and declare their independence.
The Declaration identifies a common ground which is to absolve from allegiance to the monarchy and the need for independence (Archiving Early America, para 21). Paragraph of Opposing View: The notion that the Declaration of Independence is a persuasive/argumentation writing can be contested on one major count. The purpose of the document was to ‘declare’ and not to persuade as being presented. In the first paragraph of the document it is well elaborated that the purpose of the document was to declare the causes which were impelling the American states to part with the monarchy in Britain (Lucas, para 4).
The Declaration of Independence goes further to mention the causes which are seen as unacceptable and hindering the achievement of the unalienable rights. In concluding the declaration, the document appeals to the ‘Supreme Judge’ of the world to declare the freedom and independence of affected states. From this argument, it is necessary to observe that the Declaration of Independence was a declaration as the name suggest and not anything near argumentation or persuasion (Boyd, et al, p 432).
Paragraph of Concession: There is no controversy on the intention of the Declaration of Independence document as many would agree that it meant to influence the position by the states to declare them independent from the British Crown. Having seen the Crown as a stumbling block in the realization of the unalienable rights which according to the document are God given, there was a growing need among the American statesmen to call for a halt of the usurpations and sufferings that were encouraged by the Crown.
The various malpractices listed as having been implemented by the King to sabotage the unalienable rights are presented from an oppressive point of view with the intent to convince people to follow the course being advocated for by these statesmen. The document is thus written in a convincing tone to win the support of the people. This can be seen in the closing paragraph where the representatives of the various states consider themselves as arguing on behalf of the people and calling for the independence of their states in handling the various political matters.
It should be observed that this final call came after the representatives had enlisted the various malpractices conducted by the Crown in thwarting the aspirations of Americans to achieve the unalienable rights (Archiving Early America, para 8). Paragraph of Refutation: There is no way one can be convinced that the Declaration of Independence document was an argumentation/persuasion writing when the document is very clear of its purpose as to declare the causes for wanting to break away from the British Crown. The document is very categorical in the opening paragraph which elaborates the purpose of the document.
In part, the paragraph concludes, “…a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation” (Archiving Early America, para 1). This gives a clear indication of the purpose that was in the mind of the authors of the document. Any other attribution to the purpose of the document is mere and far fetched interpretations of mother individuals who never participated in the compilation of the document. They are just issuing divided opinion on what they think to be the purpose of the document which, needless to say, is their own creation.
Conclusion: The Declaration of Independence is a very important document in the history of the United States. Whether the document was argumentation/persuasion writing or a declaration should not whatsoever water down the importance of this document in the political history of this great nation. Nevertheless, views should be welcome on the issue as a justification of the rights provided in the constitution where every citizen has the right to express his/her views and opinions without fear or intimidation.
With such protection, it can be argued that the Declaration of Independence was not an argumentation/persuasion document but rather a declaration as the name suggests. This is because the purpose of the Declaration of Independence was to declare the causes for wanting independence from the Crown which it did as one gets to find out what is contained in the document. Therefore rather than referring to the document as an argumentation/persuasive one, there is need to look at the intent of the document as presented by the authors.