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Comparison of Declaration of Rights, Grievances and Independence

Info: 1680 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 18th May 2020 in History

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The Declaration of Rights, Declaration of Rights and Grievances and the Declaration of Independence are all important documents that share many commonalities that shaped the United States as a nation.  They all share a common link to Great Britain and the rights of the members living in the United States and changed the history of the United States.

   The Declaration of Rights and Grievances was written by John Dickenson of the Stamp Act Congress.  It shared the colonist’s opposition to the Stamp Act.  It  raises 14 points  which are rights that were being denied them as englishmen..  It specifically claims that the Englishmen have the right not to be taxed without consent.  They state no taxation without representation.  It states the the Colonist have the right to trial by jury, taxes set by colonial assemblies, all rights of Englishmen and the right to the same allegiances of all other Englishmen.  Many taxes were being imposed by Britain on paper, tea and imports.  The intolerable Acts removed much of the rights in Massachusetts angered the Americans.   Americans were already upset over having to house British soldiers because of the British imposed Quartering Act.  The Stamp Act was imposed as a way to raise money to support the military force. 

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 The Declaration of Rights is a formal declaration listing the rights of the colonists.  It was written by George Mason in May of 1776.  It contains 16 articles that are considered rights of men.  It includes right to independent life, own property, and have a government to name a few. It lists rights that the Government can not take away.   Its purpose was to help form a new government with the discussion of separation from Britain.

The Seven Years’ War had ended about 13 years before the Declaration of Independence was written.  The Sugar Act, Quartering Act, Stamp Act had all been imposed on the Colonist by Britain.  The Colonist had enough and the Second Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia.  All thirteen colonies were represented. The colonists were fighting in the Bunker Hill area against the British. The Olive  Branch Petition was adopted to ask the King to reconcile but King George III stopped all hope.  Thomas Paine was publishing Common Sense as a way to call for independence but also for the creation of a new political party, republicanism.  

The Declaration of Independence, often times called the Explanation of Independence,  is a statement adopted by the 2nd Continental Congress.  It was drafted by Thomas Jefferson. The purpose is to announce and explain their separation from Great Britain.  It signifies the birth of a nation that provides hope for its people.  It states some of the principles and ideas of the government still used today.  It contains goals of our nation and s grievances against Britain.  It also contains arguments to explain why the colonists wanted to be free from Britain.  There are three parts to the Declarations with the last part stating that they are removing themselves from Britain to form their own nation. 

When comparing how these documents are similar to each other, the first noticeable observation is that they list grievances against Great Britain.  The documents stress that the people wanted to be treated equally and the same.  They wanted the same rights as other Englishmen and all men are to be treated equally.  They were all written by important white men, who at the time, fought for equality for men.  They were all written in the 1700’s.  They were all turning points in the future of the United States.  They made changes that helped the United States to become strong and independent.   They all pushed the nation in a new direction of stating grievances against Britain.  They also changed the way that the colonist traded, make laws and organized their own government.

When contrasting these documents, one can first look to who drafted them.  Besides the single authors, the Declaration of Rights and Grievances was written by the Stamp Act Congress.  The Declaration of Independence was written by Second Continental Congress.  The Declaration of Rights was written by the Fifth Virginia Convention.

 The Declaration of Rights and the Declaration of Independence both stand for freedom and equality.  The Declaration of Rights calls for withdrawing from Britain, in which the Declaration of Independence later sets in motion.  The Declaration of Independence is said to have used wording from the Declaration of Rights such as the beginning of where all men are created equal and uses the wording right to life, liberty and happiness.  They both call for equality of men as well as having a government that works for the people and if it’s not working, then the people can change the government. 

Their differences are that the Declaration of Rights states the rights of the people.  The Declaration of Independence states how these rights have been void from Britain. The Declaration explains why the people need to break free of Britain because of the grievances that are mainly listed in the Declaration of Rights. The Declaration of Rights is more about setting up a new government in Virginia since discussions were happening about a break from Britain.

The Declaration of Rights and The Declaration of Rights and Grievances are similar in that they were both letters to the King.  They both state wrongdoings that Britain was doing to the colonists.

Some of the differences include the number of grievances each has.  The Declaration of Rights has 16 grievances while the Declaration of Grievances of Man lists 14 grievances against Britain.  The Declaration of rights is based on Virginia setting up their new government separate from Britain.   The Declaration of Rights and Grievances was written by the Stamp Act Congress who were  responding to the taxes that Britain was imposing on the colonists. It was more about preventing more taxes by Britain without some representation by the colonists.  The declaration of  rights was more about the rights of the people.  They both talk about right but the Declaration of Rights and Grievances state more about how the colonist should be more like the Englishman.  The Declaration of Grievances addresses the Quartering Act and admiralty courts and how they are abusive as part of its grievances.  The Declaration of Rights addresses having a military.

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The Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Rights and Grievances are similar in that they both address unfair taxes imposed by Britain.  They both are written by the assembly of colonist for the betterment of the rights of the colonists.  The colonists were tired of Britain imposing taxes on them so they decided to announce to Britain that they were creating their own nation and deciding their laws and government. 

The Declaration of Independence contains 27 points to the Declaration of Rights and grievances only lists 14 points.  The Declaration of Independence keys on how the Colonies were setting up a new nation based on how Britain was taxing them. The Declaration of Rights and Grievances was written by the Stamp Act Congress but was not directly protesting the Stamp Tax, but more about what rights the Colonist should have.  The Declaration of Independence provides a list of what the King was doing wrong to the colonist but it also tries to explain to the colonists why they should support this separation from Britain.  This is shown after the grievances are listed that the American’s have petition the King for redress but the King continues to hurt them.  It states that the King of those characters is unfit to rule a free person.  It goes on to list what the American’s have tried to do to stop these injustices and felt that Britain chose to not listen by turning a deaf ear.  This is the explanation to the colonist on why they should separate and become their own nation. 

After comparing each of these papers, one can see that each declaration to the King was for equal treatment for the colonists.  Each declaration had grievances against wrongdoing by King George III. 

How they differ was when they were written and what grievances they included.  The Declaration of Rights and Grievances was mainly about taxation without representation while the Declaration of rights was about setting up a state government and laws.  The Declaration of Independence included grievances but also explanations on why they were breaking away from Britain to set up a new nation. 

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