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American Rationalism. Revolution Writing, Persuasion and Rhetoric. We are Going to Learn…. Influential People of the Revolution Literature of the Revolution Persuasion and Rhetoric of the Revolution and HOW it was used as well as HOW we can recognize and use it in our writing.

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american rationalism

American Rationalism

Revolution Writing, Persuasion and Rhetoric

we are going to learn
We are Going to Learn…
  • Influential People of the Revolution
  • Literature of the Revolution
  • Persuasion and Rhetoric of the Revolution and
    • HOW it was used as well as
    • HOW we can recognize and use it in our writing
we should consider
We Should Consider…
  • How the LITERATURE of the time period was persuasive
  • How America has changed throughout the years
  • If we still follow the same morals and values of this time period

John Oliver (stand-up comedian) has an interesting take on this

- Brit talking to Canadians about America

2 main sources behind the american revolution
2 Main Sources Behind the American Revolution
  • Philosophical
    • John Locke
  • Religious
    • Bible
john locke
John Locke
  • English Philosopher
  • Natural Rights of Humans
    • Life
    • Liberty
    • Right to Own Property
      • His theories on just government provided a blueprint for colonial leaders
        • Government in 3 parts
          • Legislative (holds the most power b/c it reflected the will of the people)
          • Executive
          • Judicial

**Start watching for evidence of his philosophy in the literature that we read**

John Locke Foundation

john locke and the declaration of independence
John Locke and The Declaration of Independence


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to 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, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

the bible
The Bible
  • Local Church
    • Not only religious activity, but social and political activity as well
    • Start watching for references to God and religion in the literature that we read
persuasive rhetoric
Persuasive Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric – the art of communicating ideas
  • Persuasive Rhetoric – consists of reasoned arguments in favor of or against particular beliefs or courses of action
  • Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Martin Luther King Jr. are all men that significantly influence the American society
    • We can use their speeches as examples of persuasive rhetoric at its best
    • For Example: I Have a Dream
persuasive rhetoric1
Persuasive Rhetoric
  • How can someone be effectively persuasive?
    • The work has to engage both the mind and the emotions of its audience
      • Let’s look at the 1996 Presidential Debate
persuasive rhetoric logical appeals
Persuasive Rhetoric: Logical Appeals
  • Logical Appeals – provide rational arguments to support writers’ claims
  • Deductively – a writer begins with a generalization, or premise, and proceeding to marshal examples and facts that support it
    • Ex: Declaration of Independence
  • Inductively – a writer begins with examples or facts and proceeding to draw a conclusion from them
    • Ex: Clinton in the debate we just watched
  • We need to analyze the REASONING of the argument. Start watching for deductive and inductive reasoning
    • Obama
persuasive rhetoric2
Persuasive Rhetoric
  • Emotional Appeals
    • Often based on specific examples of suffering or potential threats
    • Often includes “loaded language”
      • Language that is rich in connotations and vivid images
persuasive rhetoric3
Persuasive Rhetoric
  • Ethical Appeals
    • Based on shared moral values
    • Call forth the audience’s sense of right, justice, and virtue
persuasive rhetoric4
Persuasive Rhetoric
  • Styles of Persuasion
    • Elevated Language (watch for this in the debate clip on the next slide)
      • Formal words and phrases can lend a serious tone to a discussion
    • Rhetorical Questions
      • Questions that don’t require answers
      • The show that the arguments make the answers obvious
        • Patrick Henry: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”
    • Repetition
      • Repeating a point tells the audience that it is especially important
      • Parallelism – a form of repetition; repeating a form of expression
persuasive rhetoric5
Persuasive Rhetoric
  • Where do we see the use of persuasive rhetoric in our society?
    • Debates
    • Salesmen
    • When we want something
    • Other ideas?
persuasive rhetoric6
Persuasive Rhetoric
  • Ethos
  • Pathos
  • Logos

Ethos, Pathos, Logos in 5 Minutes

our founding fathers
Our Founding Fathers
  • School House Rock
  • Washington
our founding fathers1
Our Founding Fathers
  • The First Continental Congress
    • Tension grew between Great Britain and the American colonies
      • British troops remain quartered in the colonies; Parliament passed a series of harsh laws and taxes

- Composed of delegates from 13 colonies except Georgia…met in Philadelphia in 1774

  • Patrick Henry
    • Famous orator of the American Revolution
    • Speech in the Virginia Convention – pp. 263-266
      • Persuading delegates of the need for armed resistance
  • Adams
    • “Letter to John Adams” p. 285-286

John Adams: A Closer Look HBO

The American Presidents: John Adams

we need to
We Need to…
  • Start paying attention to the use of persuasion and rhetoric
  • Start using persuasion and rhetoric
  • Start recognizing the importance of persuasion and rhetoric in the founding of our country