# 1: “The United States had taken great strides towards securing for its citizens the goals of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ between 1848 and 1877.” Defend, modify, or reject this statement. Be sure to include a discussion of social, political, and economic aspects. Use examples from the pre-Civil War, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods.
#2: In your opinion, what was the critical event in the life of Frederick Douglass that set him on his path to freedom? Why? Be sure to explain your reasoning.
Branching paths: History 1 Part 4
In the period between 1848 to 1877, United States made significant steps towards fulfilling great America that our forefathers had envisioned. This has formed a firm foundation for economic, social, and political prosperity. There has been a paradigm shift in the social rights movements, economic and the political front that violate people’s right to choose. With a series of setbacks such as civil war, the United States has remained vigilant in its pursuit of liberty, hope, and happiness for its people. This paper explores the tremendous effort of America to fulfill the Declaration of our forefathers through a social, economic, and political lens.
In the wake of 1848, a series of political uprising dominated the U.S. This was characterized by revolts that geared towards the eradication of the widespread old monarchial state. The political upheaval commenced the transition from monarchy structures to democratic and liberal states with full autonomy to their constitution. With the inauguration as sovereign states, the U.S. became the superpower. It extended its territory to the weak economies that did not have the potential to enact a constitution and operate independently. Eventually, this led to the violent persecution and killing of innocent Africans and Native Americans, which extended for a relatively long time.
The upsurge of democratic and liberal systems fueled political power in the U.S. constitution, which largely contributed to the formation of the constitution and equal distribution of resources. Although there was equal representation, the United States’ leading players operated on blatant force and exploited resources from its colonies for its selfish interests. For example, amidst in the 1840s, the U.S. operated on popular sovereignty. Black people were captive to slavery and dictated that all territories needed to employ techniques to withhold powers from the African Americans. Amidst all these, there was an upcoming revolution emanating from black activists seeking to abolish the institution of slavery. One of the famous abolitionists was Freedwoman Sojourner Truth, who had made her life purpose of preaching about the evils of slavery and promoting gender equality.
At the same time, President Abraham Lincoln had been advised to free slaves in the South to build on more workforces for the union to win the civil war. Although Lincoln had dismissed the claim of equal rights entitlement to the pursuit of happiness in the precepts of the Declaration of Independence for a long time, on further review, he acknowledged the precepts as dictated by the nation’s forefathers who have envisioned the “unalienable rights” of the American people. This marked the beginning of abolishing the institution of slavery. In 1865, the Government abolished slavery and pardoned more than 4 million black men, women who did not exercise their democratic right. Through this, the United States restored the American dream of freedom to vote on all decisions instituted by the founding fathers (Sarah, 2018).
After a detailed review of the extensive input of Fredrick Douglass in the abolition of the institution of slavery, I think the most defining moment was when he aired contradictory remarks about the relevance of the Declaration of independence. Fredrick Douglass was a prominent abolitionist renowned countrywide due to his contradictory interpretation opposing President Lincoln of the Declaration of Independence. He was stern on his decision irrespective of the consequences and bowed to advocate and spread the word about the importance of the phrases in the Declaration of Independence. However, he was a former slave and risked losing his freedom. According to him, America was captive to its past deceptive and manipulative tactics engineered to suppress the black people. From this perspective, America’s current conduct captive to the past and defamed the revolutionary heritage envisioned in the Declaration. He preached and spread the word amongst slaves about the vital phrase in the Declaration of Independence, “shouts of liberty and equality,” that was often accompanied the celebration of the Declaration with mockery and contempt. Throughout his campaign, Fredrick worked among prominent abolitionists such as Calhoun, who was keen on the process and speed of interpreting the Declaration.
During the historic secession period from the union, President Lincoln issued declarations of secession and independence as a subsidiary of the Declaration of the Continental Congress. More Americans embraced independent interpretation, although most of them were contrary to the opinions of Calhoun. Fredrick Douglass, on the other hand, though the interpretive turns, was coerced to suppress his advocacy for the relevance of liberty and equal rights. According to him, the American people were hypocrites who purposely wanted to violate people’s rights.
In summary, America has made a tremendous effort to fulfill the unalienable rights instituted by the nation’s forefathers through the abolition of slavery, review, interpretation of the Declaration of independence, and the subsequent ban of colonial militia in the North American territories. The American Government has to embrace, acknowledge, and adopt the three most essential phrases in the preamble that embody the American dream. The forefathers believed that everyone could live a happy and fulfilling life when granted liberty and equal rights in a well-functioning government. However, one has to make choices to pursue happiness in living consciously.