February 28, 2014
“Although it marked the beginning of the formal struggle for independence, the Declaration had a limited positive effect on daily life and left its promises vague. Far from embodying the democratic principles it proclaimed, the document was drafted by one author, Thomas Jefferson, then edited and passed in a closed-door session, never voted on by the public. It was only afterward that Congress sent the Declaration to newspapers and printer John Dunlap for distribution as a single-sheet broadside throughout the colonies. The Declaration’s “We” is not “We the people” but a self-selected subset of white, wealthy, educated colonists who considered but never got around to repudiating the practice of slavery in the colonies.”
Read more of this article by Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza at Pacific Standard here.