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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 221

Our Declaration, by Danielle Allen, provides an analysis of the Declaration of Independence that explores how the famous declaration could be, as a single stand-alone document, an ideal blueprint for creating a truly democratic, socially equal, and just society. The Declaration of Independence can easily be linked to massive hypocrisy, given that it was created by slave-owning people during an era of American plantation slavery and other enormous infringements of human rights. However, Allen argues that while, at the time of its creation (and arguably in many ways today), the document's support of freedom was applied to an incredibly narrow population (property-owning white males, essentially), the document itself can be used as a tool for liberation when applied to every human being equally. Most historical scholars study the Declaration of Independence only through the context of the time at which it was written. The document is also normally studied and taught with additional documents and reading materials. Allen, in a refreshing change from this approach, studies the Declaration of Independence as a stand-alone document. She believes that the document can be best placed in a present-day context through reading it in a straightforward and simplified manner. Allen chooses to lift the document out of its colonial context to truly examine its potential as a driving tool for an actually just world.

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