Minimalism

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There were many reasons the United states wanted to break from England. As explained in David Barton’s book, Jefferson Lies, taxation without representation was just one of twenty-seven.

Because of minimalism, most think there was only one.

The fifth modern malpractice is Minimalism,* which is an unreasonable insistence on oversimplification – on reducing everything to monolithic causes and linear effects. Minimalism is easily recognizable in political campaign rhetoric: candidates take behemoth problems facing the nation – complicated difficulties that often have been decades in the making – and reduce them to one-line platitudes and campaign slogans. Minimalism is also very evident in the modern portrayal of history. For example, if you ask most citizens today why America separated from Great Britain, the overwhelming response will be “taxation without representation.”

This is certainly what we have been taught in school, and that answer is acceptable – as far as it goes, but taxation without representation was only one of twenty-seven grievances set forth in the Declaration of Independence.

Listed in the Declaration eleven times more often than taxation without representation was the abuse of representative powers; the abuse of military powers appeared seven times more often; the abuse of judicial powers four times as often, and stirring up domestic insurrection twice as often. Taxation without representation was merely grievance number seventeen out of the twenty-seven, listed alongside Great Britain’s suppression of immigration and her interference with our foreign trade.

And when one turns from the Declaration to other documents approved by Congress, it also becomes crystal clear that Great Britain’s direct threat to religious liberty in America was also a prominently listed cause for the separation.

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So taxation without representation was merely one grievance among many, and not even one of the most significant, yet it is often the only one that Minimalists recite. Minimalism causes major themes in history to be neglected or ignored either by oversimplification of major things or a preoccupation with minor things – the proverbial not seeing the forest for the trees. So regardless of whether it is through understating or overcomplicating, Minimalists fail to report many crucial aspects of history that provide perspective and context. So how does this relate to Jefferson? Any proper examination of his life definitely will not accommodate Minimalism, for he was far more complex than most other individuals from the same period and he simply cannot be explained in one simple short paragraph.

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There is an extreme shortage of common sense in today’s world, When looking back in history, I soon discovered this has always been a problem, Benjamin Franklin once said, ”Of all the senses, common sense seems to be the one that is used the least.”

As simple as it may seem, many seem to be totally oblivious to it. Most if not all of the problems the world faces today could be solved if people would just sit back and think about what would seem to be the most obvious and simple solution to any issue. Often times people tend to over complicate the issues when an easy and simple solution would be obvious.

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