Pros And Cons Of Frederick Douglass

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In the antebellum period before the Civil War, the southern states of the US depended heavily on slave labor to facilitate economic development. Protecting slavery was essential to them, and they took every measure possible to do so. Trying to prevent any possible path to abolition, they fought to maintain states’ rights as they believed the expansion of the federal government would undermine their ability to protect their “peculiar institution.” However, as they fought the centralization of Washington which they saw as increasingly despotic, they didn’t see how their enslavement of millions of African-Americans was so contradictory to their states’ rights claims. Frederick Douglass, a former slave-turned-abolitionist, however, did. He was …show more content…
He fully understands that none of the truthful answers to these questions indicate that he should be giving this speech at this moment. This American ideal of liberty has only been granted to him in a very limited form, and to most of his African-American brothers, not at all. Every Fourth of July, blacks are insultingly reminded by white Americans’ rebuke of despotism and cheers for liberty that their bondage of the time was no different from what it was under British rule. In fact, it may be even less justifiable under the United States because the ideas of freedom that America was founded on weren’t protected under British rule. Even so, they expect Douglass to give an Independence Day speech. He reiterates this idea several times throughout his speech to make it as easy as possible for his audience of the extremely flawed logic and hypocrisy in this treatment. These statements are even more powerful since he contrasts these inexcusable circumstances with the founding founders’ mentalities, thus highlighting the country’s inability to abolish an institution that contradicts America’s ideas of liberty and equality at the most fundamental …show more content…
He brings up that slaveholders enact laws that punish slaves for breaking moral codes that humans are expected to follow; thus, the idea that slaves are men is manifested in these very laws. He then moves to the notion that men are entitled to liberty, which is a given just by America holding its Constitution and Declaration of Independence in such high regard. As a result, if slavery by definition is restricting men of their liberty which they are entitled to, slavery is inhumane by nature and must be denounced. Douglass uses these arguments to make the logical point that slavery does not even deserve to be argued upon, rather slavery and its perpetrators need to be exposed to scathing ridicule and unfiltered derision. As a result, Douglass has justified his invective and will continue to prove his point without holding

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