Skip to comments.
Jefferson changed 'subjects' to 'citizens' in Declaration of Independence
Washington Post ^
| Marc Kaufman
Posted on 07/03/2010 3:00:07 PM PDT by justlurking
That's what Thomas Jefferson first wrote in an early draft of the Declaration of Independence to describe the people of the 13 colonies.
But in a moment when history took a sharp turn, Jefferson sought quite methodically to expunge the word, to wipe it out of existence and write over it. Many words were crossed out and replaced in the draft, but only one was obliterated.
Over the smudge, Jefferson then wrote the word "citizens."
No longer subjects to the crown, the colonists became something different: a people whose allegiance was to one another, not to a faraway monarch.
Scholars of the revolution have long speculated about the "citizens" smear -- wondering whether the erased word was "patriots" or "residents" -- but now the Library of Congress has determined that the change was far more dramatic.
"It's almost like we can see him write 'subjects' and then quickly decide that's not what he wanted to say at all, that he didn't even want a record of it," she said. "Really, it sends chills down the spine."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
KEYWORDS: declaration; fortunes; lives; sacredhonor; thomasjefferson
posted on 07/03/2010 3:04:20 PM PDT
(Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
I’ll bet that there is some numbnuts in this regime that wants to change it back.......
posted on 07/03/2010 3:04:43 PM PDT
(I can see November from my house.)
"But in a moment when history took a sharp turn...."
this is sloppy thinking and fatuous wording by this reporter ---- the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the resolution of independence which gave rise to it was "the moment when" HUMANS (i.e., Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and their fellow new "citizens") took "history" into their own hands. It was not "history" as some vague impersonal causal force which created the DofI. That is the kind of quasi-Hegelian, neo-Marxist tripe which passes for "thought" among the progressive left.
That very moment, when Jefferson and his colleagues deciding that no longer would they be described as "subjects" of a King, that is the very moment in which "history" was made by real Americans --- they made "history" not vice-versa.
granted, it was not literally one "moment" in that it took more than Jefferson over-writing the word "subjects" --- but that was exactly the intellectual-moral-political process occuring in June-July 1776. Until then, everyone in the "colonies" could be regarded as "subjects" of the British King. After the resolution of independence on July 2 and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, we were no longer "subjects" but rather "citizens" (John Adams considered July 2 the most important date to celebrate since that was the day on which the Continental Congress adopted the "resolution" for independence).
posted on 07/03/2010 3:24:44 PM PDT
("The great enemy of clear language is insincerity." -- George Orwell --)
To protect the Constitution of the United States of America is to protect the Citizens of the United States of America. Something that apparently has been forgotten at the Representative level that is government.
We must remind them this November.
posted on 07/03/2010 3:59:16 PM PDT
(The Left draws criminals as excrement draws flies. The Left IS a criminal organization.)
Even Jefferson, acclimated as he was to a concept of Crown and man, caught the tea party sentiment. God bless you, sir!
posted on 07/03/2010 5:52:20 PM PDT
Subjects are ruled. Citizens are governed by consent. Big difference.
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson