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How The Declaration Of Independence Changed The World

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Author Topic: How The Declaration Of Independence Changed The World  (Read 1424 times)
Bianca
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« on: July 05, 2009, 09:12:40 pm »











Liberty gets going



Immediately after it was printed, the Declaration sparked worldwide debate on the legitimacy of colonial rule.


Several countries used the document as a shining beacon in their own struggles for independence and adopted Jefferson as their figurehead. Jefferson himself predicted that American independence would be a catalyzing force - a "ball of liberty," he called it - that would soon make its way across the globe.


First came France, whose revolution in the 1780s and 90s drew upon the American experience and literature for inspiration. Jefferson happened to be a minister to France at the time and became an ardent supporter of the revolutionaries, even helping to draft a charter of rights in support of a new republic, eerily similar to the one he'd written just over a decade prior.


With its mother country France in disarray, another colony inspired by the American Revolution sought independence in the late 18th century. Haiti had been a profitable sugar and coffee colony for centuries, known as one of the cruelest plantation islands in the Caribbean. Led by freed slave Toussaint L'Ouverture, who quoted both France and America's declarations to stir the uprising, Haiti achieved its own liberty in 1804. Ironically, former slaves in Haiti had used the Declaration of Independence as a model in their fight for freedom while the document gave no such rights to slaves in the United States.


In the years that followed, themes from the Declaration were sourced and reinterpreted for further independence movements in Greece, Poland, Russia and throughout South America. A world of empires was gradually turning into a world of sovereign states. 
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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