What does Maier see as Jefferson's strategy in the writing of the Declaration of Independence?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Maier's characterization of Jefferson's work is to suggest that its strategy was to ensure that his writing embodied the ideals and ideas of numerous smaller state and local declarations.  Jefferson understood that being able to synthesize the thought of the Enlightenment, as well as articulate the condition of the smaller and more local declarations, would enable a larger and more collective voice to be heard and acknowledged.  This became part of Jefferson's strategy.  Maier makes the argument that Jefferson understood that the one challenge with local and state declarations would be that it failed to speak for the Colonists as a collective entitity.  In taking all of these into account and representing all of them in their own document, Jefferson sought to give a collective voice and unifying articulation to all of the Colonists.  This became his central strategy in terms of making the Colonial struggle for independence from Britain something that was on the level of human rights and not something specific to the locality of specific politics.  In this, Jefferson's writing reached a wider audience as it widened the perceived struggle for independence.  This becomes his strategy as he recognized that part of it involved taking from and representing smaller and local declarations.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial