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Compare and contrast The Declaration of Independence and Simon Bolivar's "Jamaica Letter."

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t521863 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM via web

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Compare and contrast The Declaration of Independence and Simon Bolivar's "Jamaica Letter."

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:17 AM (Answer #1)

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The most obvious similarity between these two documents is that both argue for the independence of American territories that are the colonies of European powers.  They both do so in similar terms.  Both documents argue that there is a need for government to be based on the consent of the people who are governed.  Both documents argue that the colonial powers have oppressed the colonies.

The major difference between them is that Bolivar is less determined to set up a democratic system once independence is gained.  Bolivar does not believe that it is possible for South American colonies to become a republic right away.  Instead, he believes that it will be necessary to have a "paternal" (by which he means dictatorial) form of government until they are ready to rule themselves.  It is hard to imagine Jefferson making a similar argument in the Declaration of Independence.

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