Question

In paragraph 2, what does Jefferson say about the treatment of the colonists under the King of Great Britain? According to Jefferson, what justifies a revolt against the existing government? Use evidence from the text to support your response.

Solution

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Jefferson claims that “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” He also explains that the Colonies have been suffering to such a great degree that it is a necessity for them to overthrow the current governing system. According to Jefferson, “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariable the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.” Essentially, if the government is tyrannical and oppressing the aforementioned inalienable rights of its citizens, then it should and must be dismantled and replaced with a form of government that prioritizes these ideals for its citizens.

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