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America Misunderstands the Declaration of Independence Because of a Typo

Nov 02, 2018 | 33 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Few Americans are aware of the fact that the first printing of the Declaration of Independence contained a copy error. As a result, many subsequent republications of the text display the typo. In a new video filmed at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival in June, Danielle Allen, a political theorist and professor at Harvard University, explains why this seemingly innocuous oversight can have grave consequences. Interpreting this sentence correctly, Allen argues, is crucial to understanding how the powers of government are organized—and, consequentially, how to be an effective civic agent.

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Author: Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

About This Series

Big ideas from the Aspen Ideas Festival