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Slavery In his three narratives, and his numerous articles, speeches, and letters, Douglass vigorously argued against slavery.
He sought to demonstrate that it was cruel, unnatural, ungodly, immoral, and unjust. Civil War drew closer, he expanded his arguments in many speeches, editorials, and in his second autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom.
His rebellion against slavery began, as he recounted, while he was a slave. In his narratives, this depiction of early recognition, and general recognition among blacks and some whites, of the injustice, unnaturalness, and cruelty of slavery is a major element of his argument.
It marks his first argument against slavery. Some of the apologists for slavery claimed that blacks were beasts, subhuman, or at least a degenerated form of the human species.
In his Fourth of July Address, he derides the very idea that he would even need to argue this point b. Against the claim that blacks were beasts, he argued that rather slavery had brutalized them.
He pointed to the obviousness of the humanity of blacks, and to the hypocrisy of the apologists for slavery in America on this question: Along with this hypocrisy, American slaveholders feared and banned the education of blacks, while demanding and profiting from their learning and development in the skilled trades.
Thus, Douglass argued the accusation that blacks were beasts was predicated on the guilty knowledge that they were humans. Additionally, it subverted not only the natural goodness of blacks by brutalizing them, but it also did so to white slaveholders and those otherwise innocent whites affected by this wicked institution.
Second, since blacks were humans, Douglass argued they were entitled to the natural rights that natural law mandated and that the United States recognized in its Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Slavery subverted the natural rights of blacks by subjugating and brutalizing them: Douglass cited biblical passages and interpretations popular with abolitionists.
As a witness and participant of the second Great Awakening, he took seriously the politicized rhetoric of Christian liberation from sin, and, as with other abolitionists, saw it intrinsically wrapped up with liberation from slavery, and indeed national liberation. Fourth, he argued that slavery was inconsistent with the idea of America, with its national narrative and highest ideals, and not just with its founding documents.
Fifth, drawing on the ideas of manifest destiny, as well as the idea of natural law realized in historical progress, he argued that slavery was inconsistent with development: America was on the wrong side of history on the question of slavery.
To defend slavery, some of its apologists drew on the idea of historical progress to offer the defense that slavery was a benevolent and paternal system for the mutual benefit of whites and blacks.
Douglass countered by drawing on his experiences, and the experiences of other slaves, that American slavery was in no way benevolent. It brutalized blacks, subjecting them to debilitating, murderous violence; to rape; to the splitting up of families another crime against nature ; to denying them education and self-improvement; and to the exploitation of their labor and denying them access to their natural right to property.
Black slaves were not happy Sambos benefiting from the largesse of kind, gentile white masters—they were brutalized against all justice and reason. Neither were they lacking in agency or self-respect, nor were they, for all intents and purposes socially and morally dead, subjected to natal alienation.
Howard McGary and Bill E. Philosophy and American Slaveryis an indispensable source for philosophical analyses of these arguments, and the engagement of normative philosophy with historical and sociological theories of U.
An early, key contributor to the philosophical literature on Douglass, and to American philosophical literature on Douglass was Angela Davis, who of course is a key figure in the U. Civil Rights Movement and the emergence of both the black power movement and black feminism since the s. Natural Law As was mentioned in the above section, Douglass drew on the idea of natural rights and the natural law tradition in his argument against slavery.
Douglass was an Enlightenment thinker and a nineteenth century modernist Moses ; Martin ; Myers As such, he had a firm faith in the progress of man, civilization, and Western Christendom; hence, he saw American slavery as a brutal backwardness that ran counter to the progress of history. God and the forward march of history, Douglass believed, would bring the realization of truth, justice, and the brotherhood of man.
His sources for his belief were many. However, given the numerous religious references in his speeches and writings, and his drawing on the language of the King James Bible, and the rhetoric of manifest destiny, a primary source for his employment of the idea of natural law seems to be his adoption of the American Protestantism of the Second Great Awakening, with its democratic, republican, and generally independent spirit.
He believed that there were forces in operation, which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery: I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope.
While drawing encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.
His vision of human rights involved action Myers Humans resist providential justice; this could be seen in the resistance of the slave-holding states of America to the abolition of slavery and the apathy of many other Americans about slavery; thus, the end of slavery requires action:Oct 10, · Only three years later, he was rated one of the top three junior tennis players in his country.
A year after this, he made the decision to focus solely on tennis, and soon became so focused and involved, he was playing up to three tournaments each month. Others of his works are also important in understanding his political philosophy, especially his history of the English Civil War, Behemoth (published ), De Corpore (), De Homine (), Dialogue Between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Laws of England (), and The Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance ().
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Polsby and Dennis Brennen was written October 30, for the Heartland Executive Summary. It was during his re-election campaign that Kennedy's press secretary at the time, Robert E. Thompson, put together a film entitled The U.S.
Senator John F. Kennedy Story, which exhibited a day in the life of the Senator and showcased his family life as well as the inner workings of his office.
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