Continental Congress Deems Declaration of Independence to Have Passed

Thomas Jefferson, controversial author of the DeclarationDateline Philadelphia

The Second Continental Congress today passed a Declaration of Independence.

“This has been the most open, most transparent process in history” declared its author, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia.  The Declaration effectively ends the colonies political association with the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Despite Jefferson’s claims, the mode of passing and indeed the Declaration itself remain deeply controversial.  Aware that he did not have the votes to pass the Declaration, Jefferson and co-sponsor John Adams of Massachusetts pushed it through by debating South Carolina’s amendment to strike out language regarding slavery.  One this amendment passed they then “deemed” that the entire document had been passed by Congress.

“Despite what Jefferson says this has not been a transparent process at all” said Maryland’s delegation.  “Jefferson was secluded when he wrote it.  He didn’t ask for our input.  We haven’t even voted on it.  They (the supporters) just deemed it to have passed.  This is blatantly wrong.  This is America not The Netherlands.”

Many argue that the Continental Congress even lacks the authority to declare independence.

“The members of Congress were chosen by 13 different governments.  We are bound to follow the instructions given to us by our legislatures.  Many currently oppose independence.  Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware are opposed to it.  Our own delegation cannot be found as New York City has been evacuated.  At least I think that’s the reason we haven’t heard from them” said New York’s Lewis Morris.

Adams responded to criticism by stating “We had to seclude Jefferson.  It’s the only way he can write.”   He further told reporters that “everyone knew what he was writing and the reasons for it.  All this talk that people do not know what’s in the Declaration is hogwash.”

Asked in front of the Pennsylvania State House what was in the Declaration, an ailing Ben Franklin responded, “Don’t know.  Haven’t seen it. Haven’t voted on it. The process is unimportant to me. But trust me.  It’s great.”

Congress then ordered 200 copies of the Declaration printed.

“Now that it’s passed the people can read it” said Jefferson.


1 Comment

One Response

  1. Matt says:

    This is disturbing, as I think was the intent. In that vein, well done!

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