Why Did Thomas Jefferson Write The Declaration of Independence?
For two main reasons, the Second Continental Congress selected Thomas Jefferson for writing the Declaration of Independence.
Even when he was a little nervous about the issue, leaders like John Adams came for persuading him to do the job.
|Answer In Short:
1. First Reason: Jefferson was an amazing writer, including his beautiful handwriting. He had wide-ranging philosophical knowledge on different topics. The Continental Congress was well aware of it.
2. Second Reason: Jefferson was young and a calm person. Thus he had no opposition in Congress. Usually, with most of the leaders, he maintained a good relationship.
Description – Why Did Jefferson Write The Declaration of Independence?
So, here the first reason was Jefferson’s high-quality writing skills.
From the beginning, he was an excellent writer, including his composition of words and beautiful handwriting.
On the other hand, Jefferson had a wide-ranging philosophical knowledge on different topics; especially, on politics and human beings’ natural rights.
He was highly inspired by the Enlightenment age philosophers; such as John Locke, Voltaire, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, etc.
Secondly, despite being one of the youngest delegates, Thomas Jefferson was a very popular leader among other delegates of the Second Continental Congress.
Same way, the numbers of his opponents were the lowest.
Therefore, other delegates of the Continental Congress preferred him for writing the historical document.
[Interesting Fact: Did You Know? The Famous Line of The Declaration “Life, Liberty And The Pursuit of Happiness” Was Borrowed From John Locke’s Philosophy On “Life, Liberty, And Property”. While Drafting The Declaration, Thomas Jefferson Used “Pursuit of Happiness” Instead of “Property”]
When Did Thomas Jefferson Write The Declaration of Independence?
Jefferson wrote this document in June 1776.
Because of Congress’s busy schedule, he was given only 17 days to complete the job.
In a rented room, he drafted the job in a few books and pamphlets.
However, later John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and other leaders made 86 modifications to the writings.
[Interesting Fact: Did You Know? In The First Draft of The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson Raised The Issue of Slavery And Even He Called It An Abominable Crime Against Humanity. However, Later This Issue Was Completely Removed By The Congress From The Final Draft]
|Read Other Articles:|
But Who Were The Other Leaders That Helped Him?
On June 11th, 1776 Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft the Declaration of Independence.
Here as we know, the first one was Thomas Jefferson (From Virginia).
His four other associates were:
- Roger Sherman (Connecticut)
- Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania)
- John Adams (Massachusetts)
- Robert Robert Livingston (New York)
[Interesting Fact: Did You Know? Jefferson Started The Declaration With Its First Line “We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident, That All Men Are Created Equal”. This Line Is Considered As The Most Beautiful Line That Has Ever Been Written In The English Language. However, Earlier, Congress Didn’t Give It Much Importance]
The Impact of The Enlightenment Period On His Writing
Jefferson was highly influenced by the philosophies of Enlightenment-age philosophers.
Those thinkers were such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, etc.
We can feel the influence of these thinkers through his writing of the Declaration.
For example, his writing about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was mainly borrowed from the philosophy of John Locke.
Secondly, the theory of government’s birth was borrowed from Thomas Hobbes’ philosophy.