How did the Declaration of Independence and  the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen feed off of one another?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Locke's document had a profound influence on the construction of Jefferson's.  It seemed as if Jefferson did a good job of borrowing Locke's ideas and bring them into the Colonial struggle of freedom.  The idea of construction government as a realm whose primary function is to preserve individual rights and those inalienable entitlements that define consciousness resonated quite loudly with colonial leaders who were convinced that Britain's acts and actions were violating the spirit of Colonial freedom.  At the same time, the demand that when government no longer works for the benefit of its people, it deserves to be overthrown and changed is an idea from Locke that Jefferson incorporates into his document.  These ideas echoed in a persuasive manner throughout the Colonies and do a very good job in representing how Locke's vision of government is one that is easily embraced across different cultures.  It seems to be an odd sample of irony that it was a British thinker's beliefs that gave so much inspiration to the Colonial articulation of freedom from Britain.