During the American Civil War and prior to the war as well slavery was the number one issue in the states. Slavery started in America during colonization, and changed the American South as time continued on. The Southern economy used slaves as their main work force and would rationalize why they would use as slaves. As for the North they took a different approach on life and a much different view on slavery as the two sides grow apart in view. The events of the 1850s helped to further the distrust between the two sides and laid the path to secession and why the South thought it was reasonable and the factors that played a role in the secession of the South.
By supporting the Revolutionaries actions to break free from British Rule, Douglass alluded to the similar fight that the American population faced to attain the same liberty that white citizens had. With the same courage the Founding Fathers had to create a free country, the American generation of 1852 faced a similar test to uphold the values of the Declaration of Independence, and liberate American slaves.7 After applauding the Founding Fathers, Douglass acknowledges that the emphasis of his speech is not to give praise, but to call on America to act on it’s own failures and begin to faithfully fulfill the nations oath.8 He asks his audience, “Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us [African Americans]?”9 This rhetorical question Douglass presents, challenges America to reevaluate what they are truly celebrating on the Fourth of July, for it is surely not the freedom in which they claim to have achieved. Douglass asserts that asking black people to rejoice in the “shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery”10 and do not respect the courage, and steps the Founding Fathers took to create a free, liberated nation.11
In the 1800s slavery wasn’t a new concept in America. The sad truth was that this way of life in the “Old South” was normal. Many challenged it, some thought it was the only way, that slavery was natural way of living and blacks were only seen as property. In the era of slavery, most people often wonder if it could’ve ever have been prevented. Another aspect is that slavery was inevitable and that in a twisted way it made us better. With all these questions, and twisting of views one thing is for certain, it’s a part of our history, we are taught about it and it happened. It’s up to us to make sure we never get back to this “way of life” or the idea of slavery as normal.
The issue Douglass show is, America now has the freedom but why is freedom not granted to the selected few. “The Declaration of Independence is a ringbolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so indeed, I regard it”(Douglass pg2). Douglass explains that the way America has been granted independence is not the right way to go about it. Being a slave during the time Douglass see’s that independence was given to all Americans, except for the black race. Given the right to speak Douglass believes, why would the American people give him the right to say his opinion if a slave’s word doesn’t change anything. To an American the black race is owned property. Containing the slaves and indentured servants(black race) as property they are given no freedom. “What to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim” (Douglass pg4). Douglass reveals that man is to him the same as the British against the American’s. A black or any other race deserves the same treatment as anyone
After the ending of the Civil War in 1865, slavery was, at last, formally abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment. Due to the freedom of these African Americans and the South’s ever-growing hatred towards this group, African Americans were left to suffer harsh discrimination and horrible conditions. Africans Americans were left without homes, education, jobs, or money. Reconstruction was the Radical Republicans’ attempt to try and bring the Confederate states back to normal and unite both the South and the North into a whole country once again. Reconstruction was also set to protect and help the newly freed African Americans assimilate to the new society and the foreign economy they were placed in. Conditions of the African Americans in
Douglass began his speech to the audience by asking a series of rhetorical questions in addition to the use of sarcasm. He referred to the Declaration of Independence as “that” instead of “the” Declaration stressing a separation between African-Americans and the freemen of the United States. He extended the use of his rhetoric by asking, “What have I or those, I represent, to do with your national independence?” Slaves, whose freedom is denied, do not share other Americans’ patriotic feelings regarding the Fourth of July. His use of these rhetorical questions was valid because it separated Douglass as a different man than the rest of his white audience. Furthermore, Douglass asked, "Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty?" He indicated that people knew in their hearts that all were entitled to freedom. Douglass demonstrated sarcasm in this principle of freedom, almost as if the aforementioned rhetorical question shouldn’t need to be stated. He further declared that the stigma separating free whites and enslaved African-Americans was blatantly foolish.
There were many things that led to the Civil War. They were slavery, politics, and state right versus the federal government, expansionism, sectionalism, and economics. Historians argue over what the main cause really was that led to the Civil War since no one can really say for sure what it was. Slavery was the main cause of the Civil War.
There was a speech by Frederick Douglass in which he offered a critiques of Reconstruction policies as, as what he called, “Radically Defected” that freedom had been achieved, citizenship had been achieved, but the former slaves were not granted access to land and no real protection against violence, intimidation, etc. Douglass had given a very courageous speech at the Republican National Convention of 1876, which nominated Rutherford B. Hayes. Douglass challenged the delegates to think about what had and had not been done in Reconstruction. He said “You say you have emancipated us. You have; and I thank you for it. You say you have enfranchised us. You have; and I thank you for it. But what is your emancipation? What is your enfranchisement? What does it all amount to, if the black man, after having been made free by the letter of your law, is unable to exercise that freedom, and, after having been freed from the slaveholder’s lash, he is to be subject to the slaveholder’s shot gun? Oh! You freed us! You emancipated us! I thank you for it. But under what circumstances did you emancipate us? Under what circumstances have you obtained our freedom?” (Speech of Fredrick Douglass at the Republican National Convention of 1876,
Frederick Douglass once said, “No man can be truly free whose liberty is dependent upon the thought, feeling and action of others, and who has himself no means in his own hands for guarding, protecting, defending and maintaining that liberty.” Throughout the history of America his words have proven true seeing that those of African descent have been faced with a tremendous amount of prejudice. Whether that be in terms of the basic rights vital to African americans, or the freedom of expression that should be allotted to every human being. They were subjected to endless economic and social prejudice. While at the same time being refused the decencies all American citizen deserved. But most importantly, African Americans were denied the right to decide how their country was controlled and in turn their “liberty”. These atrocities prove that the reform introduced during the Reconstruction era did little to resolve the problems plaguing African Americans or improve their quality of life.
Reconstruction succeeded at ending slavery because one of the requirements demanded by the government for Southern states to join back into the United States, was that they had to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which banned slavery. (History Alive, 312) This amendment was extraordinarily successful because instead of an executive order or law, an amendment is exceedingly difficult to overturn, therefore making it so that former Confederates, who would eventually be able to vote once again, did not have enough power to overrule it. By cementing it into the Constitution, the United States government has made it so that for today and for the foreseeable future that there is not, and will be no legal legal slaves in the United States of America. On one family record book dating back to
The issue of slavery was becoming more and more prominent in the years between 1820 and 1865, and was creating a lot of sectional tension between the North, who tended to hold abolitionist beliefs, and the South, who were generally pro-slavery. Many arguments were used to defend slavery, but many of these arguments ignored some crucial details. For instance, moral arguments against slavery tended to ignore the horrible conditions slaves were forced to live in; economic arguments ignored many viable solutions to their problem; and political arguments ignored blatant bias.
Slavery in this country didn't officially end until Dec. 6, 1865, the day the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. It was on that day in 1865 that American slavery, for the most part, which lasted 246 years, officially came to an end. These black codes kept the old slaves from voting and making african americans do harder jobs than white people that were paid at minimum wage. The slave codes were eliminated in 1868 with the 14th Amendment and the 15th Amendment of the United States
Douglass was a voice and leader among abolitionists. Days before the Civil War ended, he spoke to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. In his speech, titled “What the Black Man Wants”, he called freedom enfranchisement and citizenship. Douglass said, “Shall we be citizens in war, and aliens in peace?” Freedom also meant freedom to fail. “If the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall.” Whites “[interfering] is doing him a positive injury.” He pleaded to not “prop up the Negro. Let him fall if he cannot stand