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Below read the opening six sentences of the Declaration of Independence with a parent. Have a brief discussion with a parent then post your response.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Dec. of Ind. in the first six sentences – he has two big ideas he wrote about. Read the it below…the word in parenthesis – help with meaning. What are the two big ideas?

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve (end) the political bands (ties) which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station (level) to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle (allow) them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel (force) them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident (obvious), that all men are created equal, that they are endowed (given) by their Creator (God) with certain unalienable (unbreakable) Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted (started) among Men, deriving (getting) their just powers from the consent (permission) of the governed (people), –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive (hurtful) of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter (change) or to abolish (end) it, and to institute (begin) new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and usuorganizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence (intelligence), indeed, will dictate (say) that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient (easy) causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations (use of force), pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism (power), 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 (suffering) of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains (chains) them to alter (change) their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations (use of force), all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny (one ruler) over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid (open) world.

What are the two big ideas Thomas Jefferson is talking about in the Declaration of Independence? What does he believe the colonists are entitled to? What words or phrases helped you determine the big ideas in the opening six sentences of the Declaration?


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