The main intentions behind “The Declaration of Independence” were for the thirteen North American colonies to make a formal announcement of separation from Great Britain and to explain the reasoning behind the separation. These intentions are announced from the first lines of the document: “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” 

The intention behind the opening paragraphs of the Declaration – also known as the Preamble – are to lay down the principles of government which served as a basis for the colonies to declare independence. To give legitimacy to the demands of the colonies, the authors appeal to the ethos conferred by natural, God-given rights: “…assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them…”. Furthermore, they also appeal to the logos (logic) of the governing principles: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…” 

The first part of the Declaration is written with the aim of accusing...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in