Road to Liberty Essay

Submitted By jtfrost21
Words: 939
Pages: 4

By the time Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776 the chances of reconciliation between Britain and the colonies had been completely dissolved. Great minds such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine had preached that it was time for the bigoted monarchy to come to an end and a government that was a true representation of the people implemented. Some of the main ideas that led to this revolution were liberty, tolerance, and democracy. As America grew its citizens were coming from a vast array of geographical locations and religious values. Generations raised in Europe were born into families that had a certain set of values, were taught those values, and were surrounded by a society of people that believed those same values; there was never a need to question these teachings, as people just accepted them as facts. America was a “mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans, and Swedes” (Creveceour 148); the standard of beliefs had no specifications. St. Jean de Creveceour points to a family he knew “whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons now have four wives of different nations” (149). This was what an American was, so in order for there to be cohabitation ideas had to be tolerated and accepted by the colonists. As Americans started to become more accepting of their neighbor’s beliefs and values it became apparent that as long as the colonies were under British rule these ideals would have been oppressed by the monarchy. Liberty became a central theme of American’s ideology in the events leading up to the revolution; colonists wanted to express themselves in a way of their own choosing, and the British were eradicating these thoughts by destroying the colonial government, limiting trade, controlling the justice system, and taxing colonists without representation. Thomas Paine breathed life into the idea of liberty by offering “simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense” (Paine 235). Paine believed that the only king America should have was God and that the wounds inflicted by the monarchy were too deep. The best course of action for the colonies was independence. The only way to achieve this goal was to rise up and deliver a devastating blow against the crown. “These are times that try men’s souls…Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph” (Paine 245). Paine was stating that if the Americans wanted to achieve liberty, they would have to engage in the fight of their life to attain it, with the only answer being war. Thomas Jefferson also offered ideas of liberty when he wrote the Declaration of Independence stating that “all men are created equal…they are endowed by their Creator to unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Jefferson 253). Jefferson believed that it was the right of a society to revolt against a government that would not adhere to the rights of the people; the proper course of action to overcome this would be to abolish the current system of government and devise one that met the needs of the people. The debate of independence from British rule was only half the battle; if the colonists were to gain freedom they would have to lay out a plan on how to govern them once they were on their own. Not wanting to make the same mistakes of their predecessors, the founding fathers wanted to start a government that was a true representation of the people; the plan devised was a democratic regime. Thomas Jefferson made it transparent in the Declaration of Independence that the American voice needed to be heard in the…