What the Declaration Was Written For
Jefferson’s intent in drafting the Declaration was to write something all thirteen delegations could agree to. At the same time it had to appeal to the world in general.
Historians always assume he was writing in a peaceful atmosphere about his abstract philosophical world view. No one ever mentions that there was a war going on at the time. No one mentions that if Jefferson’s side had lost it, they would have been hanged.
I get a laugh out of looking at the situation as they see it. It is like expecting an abstract philosophical view from a government engaged in World War II.
There was a war going on, but Jefferson is not supposed to have NOTICED it.
To win the war, the Declaration had to appeal to two desperately needed groups. There was an anti-War segment of parliament, extreme Whigs, who referred to the Americans as “our army.” As Americans foresaw, it was THEIR victory in the British elections that forced the King to make peace after Yorktown.
The other group Jefferson had to appeal to was French liberals. That is the crowd which brought on the FRENCH Revolution, which led to slaughter and despotism worse than the one it replaced. To appeal to them Jefferson wrote his “all men are created equal,” which made no sense to anyone outside a French salon.
That is the only part of the Declaration anyone can quote. That is because the ideas that led to the French Revolution were utterly alien to Americans. Which is the reason the two revolutions led to such entirely different results.
When the war was over and Americans wrote their own Constitution, there was not the slightest hint of the sort of crap the Declaration is famous for. The only part of the Declaration anyone has been taught by Mommy Professor is a Wordist World View that is totally absent from the Constitution we wrote for ourselves.
The Preamble to the Declaration is Rousseau and Marx. But it is NOT American.
What is truly admirable is that the Declaration, written by a 33-year old Virginian, was so perfectly aimed at the two alliances abroad that were in fact critical in winning the war no historian notices was going on at the time.
Mommy Professor loves to point out that the Declaration was hypocritical. ALL war documents are hypocritical. But again, no one ever mentions that there WAS a war going on at the time.
Historians are always discussing the Constitution in terms of the groups who formulated it. But they never say anything about that in the case of the Declaration, or, to put it more accurately, about the Preamble which is the only part of the Declaration they ever quote.
This is because, for Wordists, the Preamble to the Declaration is unique. It is the ONLY wording produced by the Founding Fathers which sounds Wordist. It WAS Wordist. It was aimed at the French liberals who were limousine liberal non-working followers of Rousseau.