⚡ George Milton Character Analysis

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George Milton Character Analysis



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GeorgeNotFound is Not Who He Seems... (Dream SMP Theory)

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In addition to the above-described models of consensus-conflict relation, Mead also points out an explicitly temporal interaction between consensus and conflict. Human conflicts often lead to resolutions that create new forms of consensus. Such reconstructions of society are effected by the minds of individuals in conflict and constitute enlargements of the social whole. Since self and society are dialectical poles of a single process, change in one pole will result in change in the other pole. It would appear that social reconstructions are effected by individuals or groups of individuals who find themselves in conflict with a given society; and once the reconstruction is accomplished, the new social situation generates far-reaching changes in the personality structures of the individuals involved in that situation.

The temporal structure of human existence, according to Mead, can be described in terms of the concepts of emergence , sociality , and freedom. What is the ground of the temporality of human experience? The emergent event is an unexpected disruption of continuity, an inhibition of passage. The emergent, in other words, constitutes a problem for human action, a problem to be overcome.

The emergent event, which arises in a present, establishes a barrier between present and future; emergence is an inhibition of individual and collective conduct, a disharmony that projects experience into a distant future in which harmony may be re-instituted. The initial temporal structure of human time-consciousness lies in the separation of present and future by the emergent event.

The actor, blocked in his activity, confronts the emergent problem in his present and looks to the future as the field of potential resolution of conflict. The future is a temporally, and frequently spatially, distant realm to be reached through intelligent action. Human action is action-in-time. Mead argues out that, without inhibition of activity and without the distance created by the inhibition, there can be no experience of time.

Further, Mead believes that, without the rupture of continuity, there can be no experience at all. Experience presupposes change as well as permanence. Passage is pure continuity without interruption a phenomenon of which humans, with the possible exception of a few mystics, have precious little experience. Change arises with a departure from continuity. Experience begins with the problematic.

Continuity itself cannot be experienced unless it is broken; that is, continuity is not an object of awareness unless it becomes problematic, and continuity becomes problematic as a result of the emergence of discontinuous events. Hence, continuity and discontinuity emergence are not contradictories, but dialectical polarities mutually dependent levels of reality that generate experience itself. Emergence, then, is a fundamental condition of experience, and the experience of the emergent is the experience of temporality.

Emergence sunders present and future and is thereby an occasion for action. Action, moreover, occurs in time ; the human act is infected with time — it aims at the future. Human action is teleological. Discontinuity, therefore, and not continuity in the sense of mere duration or passage , is the foundation of time-experience and of experience itself. The emergent event constitutes time, i. The emergent event is not only a problem for ongoing activity: it also constitutes a problem for rationality.

Reason, according to Mead, is the search for causal continuity in experience and, in fact, must presuppose such continuity in its attempt to construct a coherent account of reality. Reason must assume that all natural events can be reduced to conditions that make the events possible. But the emergent event presents itself as discontinuous, as a disruption without conditions. The emergent event, when placed within a reconstructed past, is a determined event; but since this past was reconstructed from the perspective of the emergent event, the emergent event is also a determining event The Philosophy of the Present The emergent event itself indicates the continuities within which the event may be viewed as continuous.

There is, then, no question of predicting the emergent, for it is, by definition and also experientially, unpredictable; but once the emergent appears in experience, it may be placed within a continuity dictated by its own character. Determination of the emergent is retrospective determination. It is necessary to continually reformulate the past from the point of view of the newly emergent situation. As far as most Americans were hitherto concerned, there simply was no history of the American black — there was only a history of white Europeans, which included the history of slavery in America.

There can be no finality in historical accounts. The past is irrevocable in the sense that something has happened; but what has happened that is, the essence of the past is always open to question and reinterpretation. Irrevocability is a characteristic of the past only in relation to the demands of a present looking into the future. That is to say that even the sense that something has happened arises out of a situation in which an emergent event has appeared as a problem. Thus, objectivity can have meaning only within the domain of the subject, the realm of consciousness. It is not that the existence of the objective world is constituted by consciousness, but that the meaning of that world is so constituted. In Husserlian language, the existence of the objective world is transcendent , i.

History is founded on human action in response to emergent events. Action is an attempt to adjust to changes that emerge in experience; the telos of the act is the re-establishment of a sundered continuity. Since the past is instrumental in the re-establishment of continuity, the adjustment to the emergent requires the creation of history. And the future- orientation of history entails that every new discovery, every new project, will alter our picture of the past. Although Mead discounts the possibility of a transcendent past that is, a past independent of any present , he does not deny the possibility of validity in historical accounts.

An historical account will be valid or correct, not absolutely, but in relation to a specific emergent context. Historical thought is valid in so far as it renders change intelligible and permits the continuation of activity. An appeal to an absolutely correct account of the past is not only impossible, but also irrelevant to the actual conduct of historical inquiry. A meaningful past is a usable past. Historians are, to be sure, concerned with the truth of historical accounts, i.

The historical conscience seeks to reconstruct the past on the basis of evidence and to present an accurate interpretation of the data of history. Thus, for Mead, historical inquiry is the imaginative-but-honest, intelligent-and-intelligible reconstruction and interpretation of the human past on the basis of all available and relevant evidence. But what is the ontological status of emergence? What is its relation to the general structure of reality? Nature is a system of systems or relationships; it is not a collection of particles or fragments which are actually separate.

Distinctions, for Mead, are abstractions within fields of activity; and all natural objects animate or inanimate exist within systems apart from which the existence of the objects themselves is unthinkable. The inside of the object, moreover, is not a projection from the organism, but is there in the relation between the organism and thing see The Philosophy of the Present , , The relation between organism and object, then, is a social relation The Philosophy of the Act Thus, the relation between a natural object or event and the system within which it exists is not unidirectional. The character of the object, on the one hand, is determined by its membership in a system; but, on the other hand, the character of the system is determined by the activity of the object or event.

There is a mutual determination of object and system, organism and environment, percipient event and consentient set The Philosophy of the Act While this mutuality of individual and system is characteristic of all natural processes, Mead is particularly concerned with the biological realm and lays great emphasis on the interdependence and interaction of organism and environment.

Whereas the environment provides the conditions within which the acts of the organism emerge as possibilities, it is the activity of the organism that transforms the character of the environment. The relation of organism and environment is not static, but dynamic. The activities of the environment alter the organism, and the activities of the organism alter the environment. The organism-environment relation is, moreover, complex rather than simple. The ability of the organism to act with reference to a multiplicity of situations is an example of the sociality of natural events. By moving from one system to another, the organism confronts unfamiliar and unexpected situations which, because of their novelty, constitute problems of adjustment for the organism.

These emergent situations are possible given the multiplicity of natural processes and given the ability of natural events e. A bee, for example, is capable of relating to other bees, to flowers, to bears, to little boys, albeit with various attitudes. But sociality is not restricted to animate events. A mountain may be simultaneously an aspect of geography, part of a landscape, an object of religious veneration, the dialectical pole of a valley, and so forth.

The capacity of sociality is a universal character of nature. The object is social, not merely in terms of its temporal relations, but also in terms of its relations with other objects in an instantaneous field. This mode of sociality constitutes the emergent event; that is, the state of a system at a given instant is the social reality within which emergent events occur, and it is this reality that must be adjusted to the exigencies of time.

It is on the basis of such socio-symbolic interactions between individuals, and by means of the conceptual symbols of the communicational process, that the mind and the self come into existence. The human world is also temporally structured, and the temporality of experience, Mead argues, is a flow that is primarily present. The past is part of my experience now , and the projected future is also part of my experience now.

There is hardly a moment when, turning to the temporality of my life, I do not find myself existing in the now. Thus, it would appear that whatever is for me, is now ; and, needless to say, whatever is of importance or whatever is meaningful for me, is of importance or is meaningful now. Our past is always with us in the form of memory, history, tradition, etc.

The human present opens toward the future. The individual experiences himself as having choices, or as being confronted with situations which require choices on his part. He does not ordinarily experience himself as being controlled by the world. The world presents obstacles to him, and yet he experiences himself as being able to respond to these obstacles in a variety even though a finite variety of ways. I am a being that exists in relation to a world.

Freedom denied on one level of experience is rediscovered at another. One must lose oneself in order to find oneself. A perspective, then, is a situation in which a percipient event or individual exists with reference to a consentient set or environment and in which a consentient set exists with reference to a percipient event. There are, obviously, many such situations or perspectives. For Mead, perceptual objects arise within the act and are instrumental in the consummation of the act. Distance experience implies contact experience. Perception leads on to manipulation. A terminal attitude, then, is an implicit manipulation of a distant object; it stands at the beginning of the act and is an intellectual-and-emotional posture in terms of which the individual encounters the world.

As present in the beginning of the act, the terminal attitude contains the later stages of the act in the sense that perception implies manipulation and in the sense that manipulation is aimed at the resolution of a problem. In terminal attitudes, all stages of the act interpenetrate. For example, a distant shape is seen as being palpable, as having a certain size and weight, as having such and such a texture, and so forth. In perception, the manipulatory area is extended, and the distant object becomes hypothetically a contact object.

In immediate perceptual experience, the distant object is in the future. Contact with the distant object is implicit, i. The contemporaneity of individual and distant object is an abstraction within the act. Prior to actual manipulation, the perceiving individual anticipates a variety of ways in which a given object might be manipulated. This implicit testing of alternative responses to the distant object is the essence of reflective conduct. The actual futurity of the distant object is suspended, and the object is treated as though it were present in the manipulatory area. This reduction of futurity, we have seen, is instrumental in the reflective conduct of the acting individual.

In perception, then, distant objects are reduced to the manipulatory area and become hypothetically contact objects. Perception involves the assumption of contact qualities in the distant object. Galileo articulated the latter distinction as follows:. I feel myself impelled by the necessity, as soon as I conceive a piece of matter or corporeal substance, of conceiving that in its own nature it is bounded and figured in such and such a figure, that in relation to others it is either large or small, that it is in this or that place, in this or that time, that it is in motion or remains at rest.

Hence I think that these tastes, odours, colors, etc. The primary qualities number, position, extension, bulk, and so forth are there in the object, but the secondary qualities are subjective reactions to the object on the part of the sensitive organism. A serious breakdown in the theory of primary and secondary qualities appeared in the critical epistemology of George Berkeley. According to Berkeley, whatever we know of objects, we know on the basis of perception. The primary as well as the secondary qualities of objects are apprehended in sensation. Moreover, primary qualities are never perceived except in conjunction with secondary qualities.

In the exigencies of action, we have seen, there is a tendency on the part of the acting individual to reduce distant objects to the contact area. The contact characters of the object become the main focus within the act, while the distance characters are bracketed out that is, held in suspension or ignored for the time being. In his opposition to outright environmental determinism, Mead points out that the sensitivity, selectivity, and organizational capacities of organisms are sources of the control of the environment by the form.

On the human level, for example, we find the phenomenon of attention. The human being selects her stimuli and thereby organizes the field within which she acts. Attention, then, is characterized by its selectivity and organizing tendency. It is not simply a set of passive senses played upon by the stimuli that come from without. Attention is the foundation of human intelligence; it is the capacity of attention that gives us control over our experience and conduct. Attention is one of the elements of human freedom. The relation between organism and environment is, in a word, inter active.

In other words, perceptual objects are perspectively determined, and perspectives are determined by perceiving individuals. Even when we consider only sense data, the object is clearly a function of the whole situation whose perspective is determined by the individual. There are peculiarities in the objects which depend upon the individual as an organism and the spatio-temporal position of the individual. It is one of the important results of the modern doctrine of relativity that we are forced to recognize that we cannot account for these peculiarities by stating the individual in terms of his environment.

The Philosophy of the Act The perceiving individual cannot be explained in terms of the so-called external world, since that individual is a necessary condition of the appearance of that world. Mead thus abandons, on the basis of his interpretation of relativity theory, the object of Newtonian physics. But in addition to denying the concrete existence of independent objects, he also denies the existence of the independent psyche. There is nothing subjective about perceptual experience. If objects exist with reference to the perceiving individual, it is also true that the perceiving individual exists with reference to objects. The qualities of objects distance as well as contact qualities exist in the relation between the perceiving individual and the world.

The so-called secondary sensuous qualities, therefore, are objectively present in the individual-world matrix; sensuous characters are there in a given perspective on reality. In actual perceptual experience, the object is objectively present in relation to the individual. The cosmos is nature stratified into a multiplicity of perspectives, all of which are interrelated. Mead distinguishes two main types of perspective: 1 the perceptual perspective and 2 the reflective perspective. A perceptual perspective is rooted in the space-time world in which action is unreflective. This is the world of immediate perceptual experience. A reflective perspective is a response to the world of perceptual perspectives.

The perspectives of fig trees and wasps are, from the standpoint of the trees and wasps hypothetically considered , perceptually independent, except for certain points of intersection that is, actual contacts. The world of reflective perspectives is the world of reflective thought and action, the world of distance experience and the world of scientific inquiry. It is within the reflective perspective that the hypothetical objects of the collapsed act arise.

Corresponding to the two types of perspective outlined above are two attitudes toward the perceptual objects which arise in experience. The world that is there a phrase Mead uses over and over again includes our own acts, our own bodies, and our own psychological responses to the things that emerge in our ongoing activity. Perceptual objects, in the world that is there , are what they appear to be in their relation to the perceiving individual. This attitude corresponds to the reflective perspective. It is through reflective analysis of perceptual objects that scientific objects are constructed. Such objects, according to Mead, are hypothetical abstractions which arise in the scientific attempt to explain the world of immediate experience.

Scientific objects are not objects of experience. Science accounts for the perceptible in terms of the non- perceptible and often the im perceptible. There is a danger in the reflective analysis of the world that is there , namely, the reification of scientific objects and the subjectification of perceptual objects. The scientific object, moreover, has ultimate reference to the perceptual world.

The act of reflective analysis within which the scientific object arises presupposes the world that is there in perceptual experience. Scientific objects are abstractions within the reflective act and are, in effect, attempts to account for the objects of perceptual experience. And it is to the world that is there that the scientist must go to confirm or disconfirm the hypothetical objects of scientific theory. Reflective analysis thus arises within and presupposes an unreflective world of immediate experience.

A later reflection turns back upon it and endeavors to present the complete interrelationship between the world and the individual in terms of physical stimuli and biological mechanisms [scientific objects]; the actual experience did not take place in this [hypothetical] form but in the form of unsophisticated reality Mind, Self and Society , , emphasis added. The world that is there is prior to the reflective world of scientific theory.

His aim is to demonstrate the objective reality of the perceptual world. He does not, however, deny the reality of scientific objects. Scientific objects are hypothetical objects which are real in so far as they render the experiential world intelligible and controllable. Harold N. Scientific knowledge is not final, but hypothetical; and the reality of scientific objects is, therefore, hypothetical rather than absolute. Reflective conduct takes place with reference to problems that emerge in the world that is there , and the construction of scientific objects is aimed at solving these problems.

Problematic situations occur within the world that is there ; it is not the entire world of experience that becomes problematic, but only aspects of that world. It is to this field of unquestioned reality that the scientist returns to test his reconstructed theory. History, according to Mead, is the collective time of the social act. Historical thought arises in response to emergent events crises, new situations, unexpected disruptions that are confronted in community life. In this manner, the present difficulty becomes intelligible, and the emergent discontinuity of experience is potentially resolvable. Historical thought is a reconstruction of a communal past in an attempt to understand the nature and significance of a communal present and a potential communal future.

Historical accounts are never final since historical thought continually restates the past in terms of newly emergent situations in a present that opens upon a future. Human life is an ongoing process that is temporally structured. The notion of the world at an instant the knife-edge present is, according to Mead, an abstraction within the act which may be instrumental in the pursuit of consummation; but as a description of concrete experience, the knife-edge present is a specious present. The specious present is not the actual present of ongoing experience. It is what has just happened, what is going on, what is just appearing in the future, that gives to our experience its peculiar character.

It is never an experience just at an instant. Human experience is fundamentally dynamic, and human life is built on a temporal foundation. The emergent event is the foundation of novelty in experience. This novelty is characteristic, not only of the present, but also of the past and future. The future, on the one hand, lies beyond the emergent present; and the novelty of the future takes the form of the unexpected. The emergent event creates a future that comes to us as a surprise. The past, on the other hand, must be reinterpreted in the light of the emergent event; the result of such reinterpretation is nothing less than a new past. Consciousness of the past develops in response to emergent events that alter our sense of temporal relationships.

We find that each generation has a different history, that it is a part of the apparatus of each generation to reconstruct its history. A different Caesar crosses the Rubicon not only with each author but with each generation. That is, as we look back over the past, it is a different past. The experience is something like that of a person climbing a mountain.

As he looks back over the terrain he has covered, it presents a continually different picture. So the past is continually changing as we look at it from the point of view of different authors, different generations. It is not simply the future [and present] which is novel, then; the past is also novel Movements of Thought in the Nineteenth Century History is the reconstruction of the past in response to a new present that opens toward a new future.

Science, according to Mead, thrives on novelty. Scientific inquiry is, in essence, a response to exceptions to laws. Scientific inquiry arises out of the conflict between what was expected to happen and what actually happens; contradictions in experience are the starting- points for the scientific reconstruction of knowledge Mead, Selected Writings Science, for Mead, is a continual reconstruction of our conception of the world in response to novel situations. Science is a form of human existence, a way of moving with the changes that emerge before us. History is the science of the human past. But the historical past, as we have seen, is not independent of present and future.

Historical inquiry, like scientific inquiry in general, takes place in a present that has become problematic through the occurrence of an emergent event. An ancient village is unearthed in Asia Minor, and the rise of human civilization is suddenly pushed back five thousand years in time; the demand on the part of African-Americans for liberty and identity leads to a revaluation of black culture in terms of its historical roots. Historical thought reconstructs the past continually in an attempt to reveal the cognitive significance of present and future. It is not only the content of the past that is subject to change.

Past events have meanings that are also changed as novel events emerge in ongoing experience. The meaning of past events is determined by the relation of those events to a present. The elucidation of such meaning is the task of historical thought and inquiry. An historical account, as we have seen, is true to the extent that the present is rendered coherent by reference to past events. Historical thought reinterprets the past in terms of the present. But this reinterpretation is not capricious. The historical past arises in the reexamination and representation of evidence. Proposition 5: Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [securing man's unalienable rights, from propositions ], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.

When we look at all five propositions, we see they are meant to be read together and have been meticulously written to achieve a specific rhetorical purpose. The first three lead into the fourth, which in turn leads into the fifth. And it is the fifth, proclaiming the right of revolution when a government becomes destructive of the people's unalienable rights, that is most crucial in the overall argument of the Declaration. The first four propositions are merely preliminary steps designed to give philosophical grounding to the fifth.

At first glance, these propositions appear to comprise what was known in the eighteenth century as a sorites--"a Way of Argument in which a great Number of Propositions are so linked together, that the Predicate of one becomes continually the Subject of the next following, until at last a Conclusion is formed by bringing together the Subject of the First Proposition and the Predicate of the last. God is omnipotent. An omnipotent Being can do every thing possible. He that can do every thing possible, can do whatever involves not a Contradiction.

Therefore God can do whatever involves not a Contradiction. Although the section of the preamble we have been considering is not a sorites because it does not bring together the subject of the first proposition and the predicate of the last , its propositions are written in such a way as to take on the appearance of a logical demonstration. They are so tightly interwoven linguistically that they seem to make up a sequence in which the final proposition--asserting the right of revolution--is logically derived from the first four propositions.

This is accomplished partly by the mimicry of the form of a sorites and partly by the sheer number of propositions, the accumulation of which is reinforced by the slow, deliberate pace of the text and by the use of "that" to introduce each proposition. There is also a steplike progression from proposition to proposition, a progression that is accentuated by the skillful use of demonstrative pronouns to make each succeeding proposition appear to be an inevitable consequence of the preceding proposition.

Although the preamble is the best known part of the Declaration today, it attracted considerably less attention in its own time. For most eighteenth-century readers, it was an unobjectionable statement of commonplace political principles. As Jefferson explained years later, the purpose of the Declaration was "not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of. Far from being a weakness of the preamble, the lack of new ideas was perhaps its greatest strength. If one overlooks the introductory first paragraph, the Declaration as a whole is structured along the lines of a deductive argument that can easily be put in syllogistic form:.

As the major premise in this argument, the preamble allowed Jefferson and the Congress to reason from self-evident principles of government accepted by almost all eighteenth-century readers of the Declaration. The key premise, however, was the minor premise. Since virtually everyone agreed the people had a right to overthrow a tyrannical ruler when all other remedies had failed, the crucial question in July was whether the necessary conditions for revolution existed in the colonies. Congress answered this question with a sustained attack on George III, an attack that makes up almost exactly two-thirds of the text.

The indictment of George III begins with a transitional sentence immediately following the preamble:. 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. Now, words into the Declaration, appears the first explicit reference to the British-American conflict. The parallel structure of the sentence reinforces the parallel movement of ideas from the preamble to the indictment of the king, while the next sentence states that indictment with the force of a legal accusation:. 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.

Unlike the preamble, however, which most eighteenth-century readers could readily accept as self-evident, the indictment of the king required proof. In keeping with the rhetorical conventions Englishmen had followed for centuries when dethroning a "tyrannical" monarch, the Declaration contains a bill of particulars documenting the king's "repeated injuries and usurpations" of the Americans' rights and liberties.

The bill of particulars lists twenty-eight specific grievances and is introduced with the shortest sentence of the Declaration:. This sentence is so innocuous one can easily overlook its artistry and importance. The opening phrase--"To prove this"--indicates the "facts" to follow will indeed prove that George III is a tyrant. But prove to whom? To a "candid world"--that is, to readers who are free from bias or malice, who are fair, impartial, and just. The implication is that any such reader will see the "facts" as demonstrating beyond doubt that the king has sought to establish an absolute tyranny in America.

If a reader is not convinced, it is not because the "facts" are untrue or are insufficient to prove the king's villainy; it is because the reader is not "candid. The pivotal word in the sentence, though, is "facts. This usage fits with the Declaration's similarity to a legal declaration, the plaintiff's written statement of charges showing a "plain and certain" indictment against a defendant.

If the Declaration were considered as analogous to a legal declaration or a bill of impeachment, the issue of dispute would not be the status of the law the right of revolution as expressed in the preamble but the facts of the specific case at hand the king's actions to erect a "tyranny" in America. In ordinary usage "fact" had by taken on its current meaning of something that had actually occurred, a truth known by observation, reality rather than supposition or speculation. They are the objective constraints that make the Revolution "necessary.

No one. They have not been gathered, structured, rendered, or in any way contaminated by human agents--least of all by the Continental Congress. They are just being "submitted," direct from experience without the corrupting intervention of any observer or interpreter. But "fact" had yet another connotation in the eighteenth century. The word derived from the Latin facere, to do. Its earliest meaning in English was "a thing done or performed"--an action or deed. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was used most frequently to denote an evil deed or a crime, a usage still in evidence at the time of the Revolution.

In , for example, Blackstone, in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, noted that "accessories after the fact" were "allowed the benefit of clergy in all cases. There is no way to know whether Jefferson and the Congress had this sense of "fact" in mind when they adopted the Declaration. Yet regardless of their intentions, for some eighteenth-century readers "facts" many have had a powerful double-edged meaning when applied to George III's actions toward America. Although one English critic assailed the Declaration for its "studied confusion in the arrangement" of the grievances against George III, they are not listed in random order but fall into four distinct groups.

The second group, consisting of charges , attacks the king for combining with "others" Parliament to subject America to a variety of unconstitutional measures, including taxing the colonists without consent, cutting off their trade with the rest of the world, curtailing their right to trial by jury, and altering their charters. The third set of charges, numbers , assails the king's violence and cruelty in waging war against his American subjects.

They burden him with a litany of venal deeds that is worth quoting in full:. The war grievances are followed by the final charge against the king--that the colonists' "repeated Petitions" for redress of their grievances have produced only "repeated injury. First, the grievances could have been arranged chronologically, as Congress had done in all but one of its former state papers. Instead they are arranged topically and are listed seriatim, in sixteen successive sentences beginning "He has" or, in the case of one grievance, "He is. The steady, laborious piling up of "facts" without comment takes on the character of a legal indictment, while the repetition of "He has" slows the movement of the text, draws attention to the accumulation of grievances, and accentuates George III's role as the prime conspirator against American liberty.

Second, as Thomas Hutchinson complained, the charges were "most wickedly presented to cast reproach upon the King. It also recalls the denunciation, in Psalms , of "the workers of iniquity. From the revolutionaries' view, however, the primary advantage of the wording of charge 10 was probably its purposeful ambiguity. The "multitude of New Offices" referred to the customs posts that had been created in the s to control colonial smuggling.

The "swarms of Officers" that were purportedly eating out the substance of the colonies' three million people numbered about fifty in the entire continent. But Congress could hardly assail George III as a tyrant for appointing a few dozen men to enforce the laws against smuggling, so it clothed the charge in vague, evocative imagery that gave significance and emotional resonance to what otherwise might have seemed a rather paltry grievance. Third, although scholars often downplay the war grievances as "the weakest part of the Declaration," they were vital to its rhetorical strategy. They came last partly because they were the most recent of George III's "abuses and usurpations," but also because they constituted the ultimate proof of his plan to reduce the colonies under "absolute despotism.

To some extent, of course, the emotional intensity of the war grievances was a natural outgrowth of their subject. It is hard to write about warfare without using strong language. Moreover, as Jefferson explained a decade later in his famous "Head and Heart" letter to Maria Cosway, for many of the revolutionaries independence was, at bottom, an emotional--or sentimental--issue. But the emotional pitch of the war grievances was also part of a rhetorical strategy designed to solidify support for independence in those parts of America that had yet to suffer the physical and economic hardships of war. As late as May John Adams lamented that while independence had strong support in New England and the South, it was less secure in the middle colonies, which "have never tasted the bitter Cup; they have never Smarted--and are therefore a little cooler.

In similar fashion, the Declaration of Independence used images of terror to magnify the wickedness of George III, to arouse "the passions and feelings" of readers, and to awaken "from fatal and unmanly slumbers" those Americans who had yet to be directly touched by the ravages of war. Fourth, all of the charges against George III contain a substantial amount of strategic ambiguity. While they have a certain specificity in that they refer to actual historical events, they do not identify names, dates, or places.

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