The Consequences Of Criticism In The Declaration Of Independence

1090 Words 5 Pages
The phrase, “all men are created equal” found in the Declaration of Independence was used in many different contexts throughout the creation of the United States. First, people used this phrase as it relates to slavery by saying that slaves were not people, thus their rights were not being infringed. Then, this argument evolved to say that while slaves were held in different conditions, their treatment was not far from that of a white man, no matter how untrue that actually was. The views of the founders, and their intentions is very important when talking about the wording used because they were highly regarded at the time, and without the understanding their intention, the meaning can be completely changed. Looking at an early draft of the …show more content…
This image, reproduced many times throughout history shows a slave on his knees with the question around him being “Am I not a Man or Bother?” (Wedgwood). This directly corresponds with the phrasing on the Deceleration of Independence, which says “all men are created equal”, so how can one man not be given the equal rights of another man. The picture seems to be asking an even larger question, not why they are not given equal rights, but if they are even considered men. It is very important to diagnose the views of the founding fathers because their views and intentions “might provide a viable foundation for helping blacks and whites to transcend the pathology of race” (D’Souza). This may mean many different things, as shown in D’Souza’s paper which indicates that their views are hard to develop, and may not be best for advancing our understanding of these …show more content…
Another interpretation is that because the slaves are not happy in their position they are not being given the rights guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence. More evidence of the latter opinion is the phrase, as it is used in early drafts, with the wording “life liberty and property”. This is important because it is widely believed that the phrase was taken out because the founders did not want people to use the phrase as a way to promote slavery (Hamilton). This phrase was not originally found in the Declaration of Independence, the language derived from its context in the Declaration of Rights and Grievances. This is not only valuable because it is in original source, but because the Declaration of independence is similar to many aspects of the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which was used as a reference document in its

Related Documents