It is a declaration that was adopted at a congressional meeting in Philadelphia to recognize the 13 American colonies as sovereign states that were independent of the British colony. This was at some stage in the war between the thirteen colonies and the British colony. It was written through Thomas Jefferson who wanted to clearly explain and carry to light the reasons for their rebellion and the steps they had taken to strive and prevent war as the final outcome. He states the grievances skilled by the American people and how the British ignored their pleas and calls for discussion. He additionally clearly states the abuses and mistreatments carried out by King George the third. Furthermore, he tries to explain the rebellion as a result of cause and effect so as not to scare away possible trading countries most of which were kingdoms and could see such a move as a threat also to them as he understood the importance of maintaining good diplomatic relations. The document starts with stating the necessity as to why the rebellion had to occur which justifies their actions. This grasps the readers’ attention by bringing out the thought that there had to be a good reason and spurs their interest to find out why. He states the equality of all men and the fact that the government should protect the rights of its citizens as opposed to violating them as done by the British rule. He also terms it as the duty and right of a people to do away with and overthrow any government that fails to uphold and protect the rights of lots people and in its stead put a new one that looks out for the people. He further goes on to mention 27 specific abuses which the king is guilty of and even says that the new nation that will be formed to be called the United States of America. After the War, the newly independent states believed that God would help them in their quest to form a new government. He identifies and defines the new role of the government over various issues but however was not quite clear and also there was no provision on how the war was to be paid for (Sparknotes).
A Modest Proposal
It was written by Jonathan Swift, an Irish, in 1729 as a letter to the pope. The full name of the essay is A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland, from Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick. Though he very much preferred staying in England, he had a strong disdain for their policies and treatment of the Irish. A lot of artistic styles are employed in this essay such as imagery, rhetoric, and symbolism. The real message is hidden and thus would require proper understanding of the text in order to interpret it. Swift starts by bringing to light the poor state of living for the Irish people and states all that mothers do is to beg for money while roaming the streets accompanied by their children. Though his argument is mainly based on the economy, he also draws social and religious views of the situation at hand. He even uses statistical data and computations to come up with proposed solutions to the problem. He even claims that his solutions are the best and any other proposed solution would not be of any help. He starts by talking about the condition of the women and children who beg in the streets even claiming that the children are additional grievances to the situation in Ireland at the time. He comes up with the idea that the children should be used as a means of generating income and upon reaching one year should be sold for ten shillings which will bring profit. His sentiment brings to light that it is more of an economic problem although other social and religious aspects come into play. His thoughts that children should be eaten now makes us aware that he is using writing styles and that the literal meaning is not the required makes the reader be more insightful. It thus implies that the rich are responsible for making poor people poorer. He also claims that people themselves are responsible for the deplorable state of the country as they flee to other countries while at the same time blaming the country for making its citizens go away. He condemns absentee landlords who run their farms from foreign countries and also blames Britain for its role in admonishing of the Irish people through its actions. The essay widens the thinking of the reader leading to critical thinking of policies and values at hand. The use of the poetic and writing styles make the essay to bring up insightful thoughts (Swift).
Comparison of the Documents
Both the essays seem to speak on behalf of the many and try to find a better solution portrayed by Jefferson’s fight for the rights of Americans and Swift’s ideas for better lives of the Irish. The writers all seem to have done appropriate research on the different matters at hand demonstrated by Jefferson naming the abuses and also steps that led them to the war while Swift has computations and statistical data to support his theories. At the end of the essays, the different parties all seem to come up with conclusions and ideas on how to deal with situation at hand. However, they all fail to be clear in some instances as Jefferson fails to clearly indicate the roles different states have to one another. Swift’s essay condemns the political method used at that time which was found to have positive impacts on improving the living standard of people in Ireland.
Contrasting the Documents
Jonathan swift employs the use of poetic styles such as symbolism and imagery which means that the reader has to actually understand the literal meaning and interpret it in order to obtain the real meaning. His English also varies slightly from modern English which may pose a challenge to modern readers. Swift’s essay in the end does not come up with a definite solution to the problem. Thomas Jefferson on the other hand uses direct words making it easier for the people to understand. He gives factual evidence and reasons out clearly and by the end of the reading one is able to understand the aim. He also comes up with adequate proposals and recommendations at the end.
The essays employ different styles of writing and expression of thoughts and should all be embraced as they enhance understanding of the different writing styles. Both the instruments discussed in this paper have their similarities and distinctions that are necessary to understand in order to properly appreciate each in its own right.
Sparknotes. “The Declaration of Independence (1776).” Conclusion and Definition of a New Government. Retrieved from m.sparknotes.com/history/American/declaration/section4.rhtml
Swift, J. A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland, from Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick. Retrieved from https://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlnch/texts/modest.html. 2016