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The American Idea 3

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Liz Scinto

on 18 December 2014

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Transcript of The American Idea 3

Organizational Structure
The organizational structure of this article is chronological. The beginning of the article is an overview of the central idea, but then continues into the lives and deaths of Jefferson and Adams, who shaped the Declaration and US history.
Style and Strategies
The style of this article is expository. The author, Theodore White, provides the reader with relevant information about the beginning of the United States with just one idea. He uses strategies such as logos. This device is used by the author to persuade the reader to believe that America is named for an idea and not a location, as the author believes. He says in paragraph 9, "Englishmen are English, Frenchmen are French, Chinese are Chinese...But the Americans are a nation born of an idea; not the place, but the idea, created by the United States Government. This appeal to logic is used very discretely, making the reader think that Englishmen are English, but America is different because it was born of an idea.
Overall, the author's tone throughout the article was serious. His point was to inform the reader of the influence that Jefferson's writing had on the Declaration of Independence.
The American Idea
Theodore H. White
Main Idea
This main idea of this article, written by Theodore H. White, is that the United Stated was created from the idea of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

The author's purpose in writing this article is to question the idea of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This being the 'American Dream' or 'ideal' is an important part of American History. the notion that it can mean different things to different people, is one of interest. This one idea is the basis of the Declaration.
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