How does Douglass usethe ideals proclaimed by white Americans on the Fourth of July to critique slavery? : : Essay Fountain

write at least a 300 words answer combining the answer of the question you got from the article and also response to other people’s discussion that I will put below this instrucstion. Please add extra information that you got from the article that I will upload that the other person does not have and are related to the question.


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Frederick Douglass was a fugitive slave who was a political leader in the abolitionist movement. Finally in 1847, his freedom was bought by his friends, and he continued to be active in the political movement to eradicate slavery. On July 4th, 1852, Douglass gave a speech in his home town of Rochester, New York. He spoke about how slaves feel on Independence Day, and his voice was filled with passion and a seething anger, which only empowered the message. He begins by speaking on the fact that on this day, white men are are the only ones celebrating independence, and for slaves it is only a reminder of their shackles. “Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us…The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. The Fourth of July is yours, not mine.You may rejoice, I must mourn.” (What to the Slave is the Fourth of July p. 1). Douglass brings up the fact it is a smack in the face to slaves to be celebrating a day of independence when not all men are free. Douglass also brings up the point of many slaves following Christianity, not only do they share the same God, but an important reason to note this is because one of the reasons Pilgrims came to the United States was to be able to practice their branch of this religion freely. Another argument that Douglass makes is that the government is allowing this persecution of blacks. “The slave-holders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave.There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of these same crimes will subject a white man to like punishment.” (What to the Slave is Fourth of July p. 2). Which mirrors the way Parliament was allowing the unfair and brutal treatment of the colonists. I personally found this to be such a very intelligent and compelling way to mirror the situations. Douglass also says a line that is very reminiscent to propaganda and writings that were very popular during the time of the revolution “Am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters?” (What to the slave is Fourth of July p. 3). It reminds me a lot of the propaganda that was being circulated at the time of the revolution because it touches on how, first off, how dehumanizing their ‘masters’ are, the complete disregard for the victim’s opinion and well-being, how their liberty was stripped from them, but also he talks of money and the ability to form relations with other people. Economics and money were one of the most pivotal reasons behind the revolution, the colonists felt that they weren’t being treated fair economically, as did the slaves for unpaid labor. Also the mention of relations with other people. Although I interpreted Douglass to be talking on a smaller scale, domestic relations with other citizens, it’s reminiscent of how Parliament refused the colonies their own say in foreign relations. This speech made by Frederick Douglass is one of my favorites in history, his passion, intelligence shine through with subtle nuances and compelling arguments.”

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