Discuss the impact of the Declaration of Independence on the British-Colonial relations at the 1790s?

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

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I think that Jefferson's document helped to clearly establish that the relationship between the British and the Colonists was past the point of no return.  The idea of declaring Independence in no uncertain terms was a way in which the bonds between both nations were "dissolved."  Even from the most basic points of view, the rhetorical element made it difficult to ensure that the relationship between both nations was going to be changed forever.  The demonstrative manner in which the British leadership was derided and publicly criticized was not meant to bridge the gap between both nations.  If anything, the intent was directly meant to inspire the Colonists  into action and to pull other nations such as France into supporting the Colonial cause.  In this, the document served to transform the relationship into one of an adversarial nature and not something conciliatory.  In the document, Jefferson understood clearly that the need to convey the "expression of the American mind" was one that had to trade off with the idea that the relationship between both nations could be repaired into embracing the Status Quo.