Abstractions in Power-Writing.

Essay by baby_cheater November 2003

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Abstractions in Power-Writing

There are many abstractions in the Declaration of

Independence. These abstractions such as: rights, freedom, liberty and

happiness have become the foundations of American society and have

helped to shape the "American Identity." Power, another abstraction

that reoccurs in all the major parts of the Declaration of

Independence plays an equally important role in shaping "America

identity." One forgets the abstraction of power, because it appears in

relation to other institutions: the legislature, the King, the earth,

and the military. The abstraction of power sets the tone of the

Declaration, and shapes the colonists conception of government and

society. Power in the Declaration of Independence flows from distinct

bodies within society such as the King, the legislature, the military,

and the colonists.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines power as, "the ability

to do or effect something or anything, or to act upon a person or

thing" (OED 2536).

Throughout the ages according to the dictionary the

word power has connoted similar meanings. In 1470 the word power meant

to have strength and the ability to do something, "With all thair

strang *poweir" (OED 2536) Nearly three hundred years later in 1785

the word power carried the same meaning of control, strength, and

force, "power to produce an effect, supposes power not to produce it;

otherwise it is not power but necessity" (OED 2536). This definition

explains how the power government or social institutions rests in

their ability to command people, rocks, colonies to do something they

otherwise would not do. To make the people pay taxes. To make the

rocks form into a fence. To make the colonists honor the King. The

colonialists adopt this interpretation of power. They see power as a

cruel force that has wedded them to a King who has "a history of...