Contributors: W. Barnett Pearce, Stephen E. Lucas, Donal Carbaugh, Molefi Kete Asante, Everett M. Rogers, William B Hart, Roderick P. Hart Jr., and Julia T. Wood.

The Declaration of Independence in the Rhetoric of American Politics

The declaration of independence in the rhetoric of american politics
Stephen E.Lucas University of Wisconsin, Madison

No public document other than the U. S. Constitution has played a more crucial role in American political conversation than the Declaration of Independence. More than a century ago, Moses Coit Tyler deemed it “the one American state paper that has reached to supreme distinction in the world, and that seems likely to last as long as American civilization lasts” (Tyler, 1897, p. 498). Tyler's assessment is no less apposite today. Having spent a number of years studying the Declaration, I can attest both to its historical importance and its abiding hold on the public imagination. Part of my research has ...

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