Compare the literary style of the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution of the US.why each was written in the style it was how the authors wanted to affect their readers,whether or not...

Compare the literary style of the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution of the US.

why each was written in the style it was how the authors wanted to affect their readers,whether or not they were effective. Was one document more effective than the other? Explain your answer

 

Asked on by zoalerix

3 Answers | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I always have seen that Jefferson's work was the call for change and the Constitution was the way it was accomplished.  The fundamental difference between them is the bridge between declaring freedom and achieving it.  This is reflected in the style of writing in both.  Jefferson's style is emotional, calling out to Colonists' with the direct purpose of seeking to change what is into what can be.  Additionally, there is a feeling of rhetorical power that is present in Jefferson's work.  This might be present in the Preamble to the Constitution, but overall, the style of the Constitution is more expository and more directive.  There is much more technical precision to the document for the Framers understood that the only way that freedom can be guaranteed is to create a system of government that is thorough and extremely detailed, regardless of the mundane and boring nature that it might present.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with most of the first answer.  It is clear that the Declaration of Independence was written the way it was because Jefferson wanted to get the people riled up.  He wanted to make them angry and incite them to believe that independence from England was the right thing to seek.

Where I disagree is in terms of the effectiveness of the documents.  I do not think either document is more effective than the other -- they are written for different purposes and each is effective in its own way.  You can't write a constitution in an inflammatory way -- that's not what it's for.  So I think the formal style of the Constitution is effective for what it is supposed to be doing (setting up a system of government).

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I like the style of Jefferson's Declaration of Independence (he was the primary author, though others contributed and helped in the final version) and believe it is more effective.  It is written basically as a long list of accusations against the King, and makes especially effective use of repitition so that the reader gets the impression of the collection of charges as a whole.  The wording of the accusations makes the British sound guilty, and the number of accusations makes them seem more tyrannical.

The Constitution is written in more dignified style, that is, it is written as a founding, governing document, and discusses rights and limits instead of accusations.  The tone of the document itself is less inflammatory.  While it is also very effectively written, I still think the Declaration gets its point across more effectively.

We’ve answered 318,967 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question