The first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence serves as a strong foundation for the rest of the piece by establishing ethical standing. The authors make the audience feel that the intention of this document is to serve as a voice for the colonists who are being mistreated.
In the first clause, the authors start off by showing sympathy for the colonists and offer an invitation for the colonists to be brought to salvation through this adventurous pursuit of independence. The writers define the British opposition as “one people” to suggest that individuals who join the cause feel the emotional support that comes with group unification. They reference the course of events that validate the colonists’ frustration and suggest that it’s a consequence of not being given enough political power. The colonists feel as though they are completely understood. This inspires the colonists to examine their “entitle[ments]” with more skepticism and increases their willingness to listen to the logical proposition to follow. The authors encourage the colonists to feel superior to the British, which is different from the way the colonists are used to being treated. Consequently, the colonists feel more respected, which leads to an establishment of a trustful relationship with the writers.
The immediate moment that trust is seized, the authors instill fear in the colonists in order to motivate them to participate in the authors’ efforts. They create an image that resembles purgatory to describe this station at which the “laws of nature” and after-life destiny are determined. This pressures the colonists to “dissolve the bonds” with the evil British before their unjust political association completely destroys their fate.