The American Declaration of Independence - Essay Example

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The American Declaration of Independence is a document signed by thirteen Colonies declaring themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and ratified by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 (Wikipedia 2005). The document which reached London on August 10 that year carried a litany of 27 specific examples that the British Crown failed to do in supposedly abiding by principles under which a nation should exist ( 1999).
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The American Declaration of Independence
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Download file to see previous pages The signers concluded that the colonies must then break political ties with the British Crown and become "independent states with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce" among others and that, representing every colony, they pledge "to stand by the Declaration with their lives, fortunes, and honor." The independence of these American colonies was however recognized by Great Britain only on September 3, 1783, by the Treaty of Paris (Wikipedia 2005).
Leading Writers. According to Ingersoll (1856), the literature of American liberties was first edited by written constitutions of Virginia and North Carolina, who first seceded from the union, followed by Massachusetts or other States. As originators working not only for independence but for larger liberties, slave-holders took the lead. "Slave-holders in the undisturbed meditation of plantation life, with frequent transactions in State representations, were the two principal founders of American free government," he said. Ingersoll (1856) further said "every bill of rights and written constitution came first from the slave-holders; every American founder of American liberty had been a slave-holder."
American bondman. Frederick Douglass, American bondman, was invited to give a speech in Rochester. He gave a scathing one on Americans celebrating their freedom day on the fourth of July while in their hypocrisy kept nearly four million humans as slaves. Speaking on the subject of "American slavery," he says he does not hesitate to declare, being identified with the American bondman, that the character of America never looked blacker to him than this Fourth of July" (Douglass, 1852). While they listened, he continues with rage -
"Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty That he is the rightful owner of his own body You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery Is that a question for Republicans Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to understand How should I look today in the presence of Americans, dividing and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom, speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively To do so would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him" (Ibid).
Historian interviews. Horton (2001) who had interviewed several sectors of southern states says withdrawal from the United States of these colonies was "directly connected to the protection and preservation of their institution of slavery." Those in power in the south, he said, understood it as such. For example, he said, Georgian Governor Joseph Brown explained that Georgia seceded (just after South Carolina), considering that Lincoln was "a mere instrument of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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