The Change And Evolutions Of Frederick Douglas's Independence Day

1143 Words 5 Pages
In the nineteenth century, celebration of the nation’s independence was fresh on everyone’s mind. Declaring independence gave our government the ability to regulate our nation in ways they thought best would support the success of our country. Fourth of July brought around the chance for people to celebrate the positive changes and evolutions that had been made throughout the country in previous years. With its title as Independence day, the Fourth of July, in the nineteenth century, enabled more of a division amongst people rather than unification due to women still living under mens superiority, blacks and indians still not receiving equal rights, and the misuse of the celebration of the holiday. Though women were beginning to make a rise …show more content…
Frederick Douglas went to great measures as an activist to gain these equal rights for blacks that white men had for themselves. Due to his abilities of being such a great leader he was asked to give a speech at a Fourth of July celebration. This would have been thought has a movement in the right direction, but Douglas continues to make the point, “I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary!”…This is Fourth of July is yours, not mine” (source 7). Douglas recognizes the fact although everyone else is able to celebrate their independence he has yet to gain it. Fourth of July was being seen as a national holiday that recognizes the independence granted for the country as a whole. If blacks were still being treated as less, then there was no full independence gained. As they asked him to give the speech they took into consideration that he was a major figure of leadership, but they never took into consideration that he had no reason to be celebrating the way they are because he still has yet to receive his freedom. Douglas took this opportunity to point that out that this just shows another division in society rather than a form of unification. Which is what the Fourth of July should have been about. Along with Douglas, John Wannuaucon Quinney felt the same way. During his speech he made the point to say, “For many years, your increase in wealth and power, while steady declining of my tribe, …show more content…
To a point that now, people look of it as a day to get drunk and wear red, white, and blue. Frederick Marryat remarks, “Well, the American’s may have great reason to be proud of this day, and of the deeds of the forefathers, but why do they get so confoundedly drunk?” (Source 5). He makes the point of the misuse and celebration of the holiday is for the wrong reasons. While there are many great reasons to celebrate, people are not acknowledging those reasons, rather they use the day to party. As someone who is not an American, Marryat saw this as a day not of tribute, which is what the original reason of the day was. Sidney George Fisher would be one to agree by saying, “It is difficult to feel patriotic on the 4th of July” (source 9). Fisher believes that people are no longer celebrating for the independence and progression the country has made, but given the day to celebrate people would rather party. If people were celebrating for the right reasons Douglas would not have to get up there and make the point that he is not giving a speech for the gaining of his independence, but for the gaining of independence for people that make his people suffer. All in all, the celebration of the Fourth of July had led to a division amongst Americans rather than unification because of the untouched matters of people that are still living without

Related Documents