Talk:United States Declaration of Independence

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Good article United States Declaration of Independence has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Period versus Comma[edit]

Could someone please edit the article to include the debate over whether the punctuation after "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is a period or a comma and the subsequent implications for the essential role of government in securing those rights? A Period Is Questioned in the Declaration of Independence Jtropp1 (talk) 14:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Instead of adding the debate to the article, someone went ahead and changed the period to a comma. The referenced article is clear that this is not a settled issue, and the archives.gov transcript has not been changed. Is there any good reason that this change should stand? Mrkwcz (talk) 20:28, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

The fourth paragraph has an error according to Declaration scholar, Danielle Allen[edit]

Here is the fourth paragraph:

'The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few for the next four score years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his rhetoric (as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863), and his policies. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:

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 author of this paragraph puts a period after "happiness." However, according to Daniell Allen[1] in an interview this month with Diane Rehm on NPR, the original document does NOT have a period at the end of "happiness," but a dash, making the second sentence quite long. The ONLY copy of the DOC that does NOT have a dash is the transcript of the copy that is currently on the US government archive website, which, according to Allen, was printed in error by a printer in 1823. Here is the second sentence as it should be according to Allen:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness - - That to secure these right, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Why is this important? Because, according to Allen, to end the sentence after "pursuit of Happiness" is to miss the point that this document is about ALL of our lives, liberties, and happiness together! Not simply my life, liberty and happiness. We don't get the FULL impact that each our lives, liberties, and pursuits of happinesses is guaranteed all of us together. I have to have YOUR back. You have to have mine.

The only correction I am suggesting is to remove the period, add the dash, and add the rest of the sentence. I would change it myself, but it's locked. 01:00, 12 July 2014 (UTC) Chuck Watts, co-founder, Empathy Surplus Project

References

  1. ^ Danielle Allen
Actually, the function of the dashes is a bit different: to serve as placeholders instead of repeating the initial phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident." The paragraph lists three "self-evident" truths, separated by dashes.--Other Choices (talk) 06:39, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Additional External Link[edit]

I would like to add an external link to the version of this declaration before it was edited, as originally written by Thomas Jefferson. An example of this can be found at http://www.history.org/almanack/resources/jeffersondeclaration.cfm

Semi-protected edit request on 26 August 2014[edit]

At the end of the second paragraph of the section titled "Signing" there is a sentence which needs revision. It currently reads " One signer, Matthew Thornton from New Hampshire, who was seated in the Continental Congress in November, asked for received the privilege of adding his signature at that time, and signed on November 4, 1776.[98]"

It should either say "...asked for the privilege...", "...received the privilege...", or "...asked for and received the privilege...".

As the sentence currently stands, it makes no sense.

MMarechal (talk) 01:30, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Pictogram voting wait.svg Already done looks like a duplicate request answered below Cannolis (talk) 13:27, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 August 2014[edit]

At the end of the second paragraph of the section titled "Signing" there is a sentence which needs revision. It currently reads " One signer, Matthew Thornton from New Hampshire, who was seated in the Continental Congress in November, asked for received the privilege of adding his signature at that time, and signed on November 4, 1776.[98]"

It should either say "...asked for the privilege...", "...received the privilege...", or "...asked for and received the privilege...".

As the sentence currently stands, it makes no sense.

MMarechal (talk) 01:35, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks! 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 02:44, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 September 2014[edit]

Please change

"Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document,[2] which congress would edit to produce the final version."

to

"Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document,[2] which Congress would edit to produce the final version."

"Congress" should be capitalized here. 160.39.132.107 (talk) 06:10, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks for the eye Cannolis (talk) 06:44, 25 September 2014 (UTC)