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While this remarkable passage is the one everyone remembers, it’s only a small portion of the Declaration. Structurally, the text proceeds like a classic example of a rhetorical argument. It begins by proposing that if a government is oppressive and unjust, it should be overthrown. Then, it lists the ways the British government has been unjust to its colonial citizens. Finally, it concludes that because of these grievances, it is time for the U.S. to establish a government of its own. It’s also a literary achievement, full of timeless sentences that are as compelling to read today as when they were written. Somehow, the text achieves both clarity of argument and an overflow of emotion. It was so powerful that it stirred revolutionary emotions across the world, most notably in France. This Fourth of July, why not take the time to read the Declaration of Independence? It’s something few U.S. citizens do, and you’ll likely find it about as awe-inspiring as the biggest display of fireworks you can imagine.
over the next few days with input from all Congress members. This revision process coincided with convincing the final holdout states to move toward independence. By July 2, independence had been decided, with 12 states voting in favor, one absenting, and zero against. Jefferson thought that July 2 would become a national holiday as a result of this vote. Turns out he was two days off. That’s because two days later, the final text of the Declaration was approved and sent to the printer, and this event became the moment synonymous with the birth of our nation.
Sense”was wildly popular, selling more than 150,000 copies in its first weeks of publication, and created a groundswell of colonist support for independence.
DRAFTING THE DOCUMENT
Once a route forward was agreed upon, Congress set about drafting a formal document to dissolve all ties with Great Britain. They assigned a group of five congressmen, now known as the Committee of Five, to begin work on what would become the Declaration of Independence. That group comprised John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Most people believed that Adams, one of the earliest supporters of revolution, should be the man to pen the document. Adams, on the other hand, was insistent that Jefferson was the man for the job. Not much is known about how Jefferson wrote the document, but we are certain that he presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776. The original draft was heavily revised
THE POWER OF THE PROSE
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
–The Declaration of Independence
Secret Swimming Holes of the World Exclusive Spots You Must See to Believe
THE BATHS, VIRGIN GORDA
Summertime is for swimming, but why settle for a community pool when you can have access to the most beautiful swimming locales in the world? These three exclusive, little-known spots are sure to take your breath away.
A day in the Caribbean is like living every moment inside a beautiful pastel painting. The elegance of this location in the British Virgin Islands will make you feel like you’ve been transported into a cathedral. The large boulders and natural rock formations create shallow caves that will captivate your eyes as you wade through the water in wonder. When you exit, you’ll witness the sight that gives this beautiful spot its name. A handful of 40-foot granite boulders form private pools as if that was what they were made for.
DOS OJOS, MEXICO
HALI’I FALLS, HAWAII
The Spanish translation of the name for this magical system of caves is“two eyes,”and you’ll want to have yours checked after you see this swimming hole. When limestone bedrock collapses, a sinkhole called a“cenote”is formed. The unearthed water from the natural aquifer balances a color palette of earth tones with the most majestic shades of blue you’ll ever behold. The calling cards for these bodies of water are the Blue Eye and the Black Eye. Both offer unforgettable experiences, but the price of entry is a hefty sense of adventure. You’ll need a full set of scuba gear to get to either hole.
With its spiral staircase of waterfalls, this remote jungle location offers up more than one unique spot to take a plunge. Visitors never fail to be awestruck by the deep blue- green hue of each pool created by the four cascading waterfalls. Hali’i means “to spread out,”which is precisely what each waterfall does, showcasing a serene experience unlike any other. But the beauty of this one-of-a-kind experience is only outdone by its exclusivity. To reach these pools, you’ll have to hike through dense forest, deep marshes, and wide-open pastures of sugar cane.
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