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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
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