Americans are experts in the art of "breaking up," and though technology allows us to dump someone much quicker, the overall message has remained constant. All break up letters (at least the detailed break up letters) have similar elements and key points: they start with an introduction mentioning "why" it has come to this point, followed by what's expected in a relationship (the word "happiness" of course appears), then specific examples of the misbehavior and mistreatment, and it usually ends with the dreaded "this is for the best." As someone who's received many "breakup" letters, emails and even texts, I do consider myself somewhat of an expert. It wasn't until my historical studies at Rutgers that I realized why Americans are just so damn good at writing break up letters, America was founded on the ultimate breakup letter in history: the Declaration of Independence.
Think about it: The Declaration of Independence is America's most iconic document, written by brilliant men who believed America was being crippled by taxes, exploited by England and parliament, and were not being treated as well as they felt they deserved. These factors and more led our founders to literally pen a detailed letter (the "Declaration") to King George and England, and possibly the greatest breakup letter in history. To prove my point, I'm going to provide excerpts from the "Declaration," followed by how it translates into actual breakup letter terminology.
The Declaration: "When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..."
Translation: There comes a point in every relationship when two people can't work it out, and have to break up and move on, regardless of all the good times.
The Declaration: "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states... He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."
Translation: "For the longest time you've neglected me, disrespected me, take me for granted and try to control every aspect of my life. You no longer tell me you love me, that I'm beautiful or care about my happiness."
If you would like to you can examine the Declaration of Independence for yourself, and you will notice that it is undoubtedly the most well constructed and thought out breakup letter ever written. So, the next time you want to breakup with someone and don't know what to words to write, email, text or tweet; all you have to do is find an online text of the "Declaration of Independence," make some minor changes, such as "King George" to "A@#hole" or "B*#ch," and you'll have a breakup letter that our founding fathers would be very proud of.
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