posted by Jordan on .
I have been assigned a paragraph to "decode" of the Declaration of Independence. I am supposed to write it to make it so that it is easily understood and read-able. I'm having a hard time with it though, because I don't know what the actual words mean. It is the 9th paragraph, that starts with "Nor have we been wanting attentions to.."
Thank you for your time!
I don't know what copy you are looking at. Please find it in the following:
(You did not type it out.)
I think this is the paragraph you mean.
"Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends."
The first thing you need to do is look up the unfamiliar words in a dictionary. Try this one.
For instance, you'll find that "brethern" means brothers. The first sentence means, We've been paying attention to our English brothers.
I'm sure if you find the definitions of the strange words, and take it sentence by sentence, you'll be able to successfully complete this assignment.
I think I'd read the general gist of it as something like this:
"It's not as if we haven't been concerned about the British. They've been warned several times about their unwarranted attempts to impose their laws on us. We've reminded them of the circumstances under which we came and settled here; we've called upon their innate sense of justice and goodwill, and we've appealed to our common heritage to curtail these impositions which will inevitably impact negatively on all our dealings with them. It's all fallen on deaf ears, and we're therefore left with no option but to declare our independence, and to regard them - just like everyone else - as enemies in time of war and friends in times of peace."
Obviously you wouldn't use the colloquial language I've used above in your assignment, but I suspect that was pretty much what was going through the author's head at the time. Does that help?