Frederick Douglass realized that he had to take matters into his own hands and help gain voting rights for African Americans without the help of President Lincoln. It takes a lot of ambition to seperate yourself from President Lincoln. Douglass gave a speech in Rochester, New York, about the hypocrisy of the 4th of July. Even though he was nervous to be in front of the audience, he was still determination to get his point across to the them. In the speech, Frederick said, “He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, had stronger nerves that I have” (Douglass 169). Despite the fact that he was nervous to be giving the oration, he knew that this would help the chances of slaves being freed. His tenacious nature gave him the motivation to give the speech. Frederick Douglass was known as a great writer and abolitionist. After African Americans were freed, Frederick did not stay complacent, he continued to work hard in order to achieve his goal, which was to abolish slavery for good. Douglass, “set his powerful ideas and commanding speaking voice to the task of ending slavery” (Douglass
The speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” opens with Frederick Douglas explaining how he was asked to give a speech on the Fourth of July. He then gives a brief statement about how hard his journey has been and now he will try to lay out his thoughts to the audience. He talks about how this is a day of celebration for their nation, not his nation. Douglas talks about how young the nation is, and how many obstacles they will soon have to face. He goes on to talk
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
An example from the speech is "I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday are, today, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts to reach them. " and "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...". Going into such gruesome detail to help appeal to people humane side. Not shying away from the atrocities that occur in the everyday life of his fellow Americans. Hoping to make the people take a step back and reflect wondering if this the world they want to live in today. The biggest rhetorical device Douglas uses though is logos. He portrays in two different ways on his speech. First by quoting the founding fathers. How the original leaders of our country preached for the equality of all men and not just white men. Reminding them that every man has his human rights of his own life and freedom. Since many arguments against this were that slaves were property and not "men'. Douglas then brought up
In 1776, on July 4th, the 13 English colonies officially declared their freedom from England. However, as the years progressed, slavery became incorporated into everyday American life. In 1852, former slave Frederick Douglass gave a speech to celebrate America’s independence; however, instead of praising the country, he censured Americans for saying they were a “country of the free”. In the speech, Hypocrisy of American Slavery, Frederick Douglass declares that Americans should not be celebrating their freedom when there are slaves living in the country. To convince his audience that Americans are wrong celebrating freedom on the 4th of July when slavery exists in their country, he uses emotional appeal, ethical appeal, and rhetorical questions.
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.
Similar to women in this time period, another group was also challenging the “rights of man”. The ideas of the French Revolution also motivated slaves to stand up for their rights. Frederick Douglass, a former slave, addressed an antislavery meeting on the 4th of July. Like the women of France, Douglass pointed out the hypocrisy of the French government in saying that all men are equal. In being asked to speak on the 4th of July, Douglass felt as if he was being ridiculed because the day meant nothing to slaves. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen meant nothing to them. There was no more justice for slaves during this time than there was for women. Both oppressed groups were challenging France for the first time, in hopes to gain their collective rights.
Standing in stark contrast and opposition to Calhoun, slavery and the entire social structure of the ante-bellum South was Frederick Douglass. A renowned statesman, Douglass was also an orator, a writer, and a social reformer – some even call him the father of the Civil Rights movement. After escaping slavery in Maryland, he became a leader in the abolitionist movement in the New England states. A firm believer in equal rights for all peoples – including women, Native Americans, immigrants and blacks - Douglas spent his life of freedom as an example of how wrong the slaveholder's pro-slavery arguments were. Perhaps it is for this passion for freedom of all peoples that Douglass was asked to give a speech for the 4th of July in 1852. At an
Independence comes wide a wide range of definitions, varying in its point of view and analysis from perspectives in scenarios that give the most fit definition. Being a memorable date where good things happened and the beginning of a new government with freedom and justice as its standards is emerging. A word which is defined by freedom in all means. A definition of open doors to new changes for better. In many eyes, these statements apply and for other do not. Douglass uses juxtaposition to denote his anger and demands to widen and bring the attention of his public: “The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony”-Douglass. Where there is joy, in other places there is sadness and death. People who had control over slaves, helped in a way to grow an economic and labor system based on oppression and
One remembers the incident because it was symbolic to them. Celebrating the 4th of July Holiday can be rightfully described as the quintessential example of symbolic interaction as a day that represents the?Declaration of Independence?and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation even though the declaration was actually made on July 2, 1776 and the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was started in June 1776; however America remembers July 4 because that was the date that found its way on the Declaration of Independence and the date we remember.
So in basic sense what Douglas was forced to say, Reconstruction failed. It did not permanently guaranteed the basic rights of the former slaves. Writing in the 1930s, W.E.B Du Bois in “Black Reconstruction In America” used an interesting phrase, “a splendid failure”. Why splendid? He said it failed, but not for the reason most white people expected to fail, the incapacity of the former slaves. It actually demonstrated their capacity for freedom, for citizenship, for participation in democracy, things widely denied in 1865, and in fact still denied when Du Boise was writing in the
To begin with, in his famous speech, Douglass successfully condemned America for its hypocrisy and the mournful nature surrounding the Fourth of July. America claimed that the Fourth of July was
Frederick Douglass was a former slave who freed himself and fought the rest of his life for abolition. He is now known as one of the biggest civil rights activists and abolitionists as he spoke out against slavery and the unequal treatment of African Americans during the Civil Rights Era. “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” is one of Douglass’ most known speeches, which was presented in Rochester, New York on July 5, 1852. This speech was given in front of abolitionists, and now has been read by people all over the country. Frederick Douglass was a key leader in his time and later an important person in American History.
Both equality and liberty are important qualities for a nation to rise to prosperity and peace in any country. In Alexis De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and Fredrick Douglass’s Fourth of July speech, the importance of voicing one’s concern is central to improving society. Alexis De Tocqueville shows that the quality of condition is more important than liberty in our American Democracy. While on the other hand, Douglass notes that our known 4th of July is a time to consider those who are inferior, and that liberty is just as important as equality in American society.
The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag