Frederick Douglass Primary Analysis
Frederick Douglass represents former slaves who become abolitionists after escaping to the north. Douglass uses ethos to speak out for not only all of the slaves in the south, but also to question the irony of the basic principles of liberty and Justice as stated for everyone in the Declaration of Independence, yet not applied to slaves. The sectional crisis in the antebellum era supported Frederick Douglass in his hatred for the cruelties toward blacks, persistence in the abolitionist movement, and the unpatriotic effects slavery has rendered upon the south.
As the cotton culture began o grow rapidly, the culture of the slave trade grew with it. Charles Ball shows the audience about the cruelties of the slave trade as he explains his first-hand experience on the horrible Journey after being shipped off, against his will, to South Carolina to work for the cotton fields. Ball comments on his misery during the Journey as so painful both physically and emotionally that he wished to die but, “… even the wretched privilege of destroying myself was denied me, for I could not shake off my chains, nor move a yard without the consent of my master… “(Ball, 233).
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The emotional cars of being ripped away from his family and knowing he’s never going to be able to see them again will also haunt Ball and millions of slaves Just like him going through the same experience in the horrors of the slave trade. African American Josiah Henson also shares his experience with the slave trade although unfortunately he was very young when he was put through the agony of being sold off as property at a mere age of five or six. Henson explains himself having to witness the cries of his mother as she is being separated from her children, begging to be able to be bought by the same owner.
He not only ignored her cries but instead violently kicked her until she finally crawled away. This was not the first time Henson experienced something so traumatizing at such a young age; he also witnessed his father covered in blood by protecting his mother from the constant beatings of a white man. Because a black man laid his hands on a white man, no matter the reason, resulted in severe punishment in this case it was one hundred lashes on the back and the removal of the right ear.
Former slave and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass speaks up for the harsh inequalities of these slaves in the south as he states to his audience hat, “There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour”(Douglass, 387). Having dealt with slavery in the antebellum South before he escaped to the North, Douglass’s views on the south continuing to use the practice of slavery is very strong as he is determined to convince all audiences that slavery is inhumane and barbaric. Another faithful abolitionist like Douglass was John Brown.
Brown was caught for helping slaves escape to freedom and was executed for his loyalty. Although not as uccessful in his movements as Douglass, Brown still died with the clear conscience of knowing he fought for what he believed in. In his last statement before his execution he explained that he neither committed murder, nor treason as he simply helped save slaves from their miserable fate. Brown uses religion to evoke the emotions of his audiences in that the bible teaches him, “… all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them” (Brown, 399).
He states to do so. The bold persistence and sacrifices made by abolitionists like Brown and Douglass who are willing to risk their lives to go back into the slave south and help free their brethren escape to the north shows the admirable effects that resulted from the sectional crisis. Douglass’s persistence in the abolition movement grew stronger after he witnessed “productive efficiency of the North” (Levine, 411) without the use of slavery as a tool and still maintaining economic success as stated in Bruce Levine’s essay on The Economic Divisions That Contributed to Civil War.
Douglass refers to the injustice and “boasted liberty’ (Douglass, 387) of the south as an “unholy icense” (Douglass, 387) as he questions what is the meaning of 4th of July to the American slave. David walker, an African American abolitionist uses religion and the declaration of independence to press a guilty conscience upon those for the slave system. By using religion, walker states that slaves should be treated with equality for Jesus Christ is both their master and blacks were made the same as whites, therefore David Walker states that, “America is as much our country as it is yours” (Walker, 299).
Slavery has rendered unpatriotic effects for the Declaration of Independence clearly tates that all men are created equal, a point not only brought up by David Walker but also by Frederick Douglass as well as he explains the irony in meaning of the 4th of July. It is not only unwelcomed to slaves, but it is also, “A day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim” (Douglass, 387). The celebration of America’s independence is Just a reminder to the slave south something they long for more than anything.
In Abraham Lincoln’s rebuttal speech to Stephen Douglass in their positions on slavery, Lincoln tates the moral rights citizens should have and there’s no reason as to why slaves are denied the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Although Lincoln makes sure to not offend the slaveholders in south by stating he is not prejudice against them, but he does believe emancipation should be granted because of our constitutional and moral rights as well as the, “love of liberty on the American Continent” (Lincoln, 397).
Lincoln also mentions that although emancipation will be adopted sometime, freeing all slaves and making them equals ould cause serious collisions, but Douglass states in his call for abolition of slavery that the sooner slavery gets abolished the better. Douglass mentions that it is stated blacks could not take care of themselves if freed to which he responds with, “My answer to this is, let him have a fair chance to try it” (Douglass, 418).
He explains how slaves take care of their masters and themselves and he doesn’t see why they won’t be able to take care of Just themselves when freed. Douglass believes slavery has, “. eaten up and devoured the patriotism of the whole South” Douglass, 418). And by getting rid of slavery, the south will still be able to prosper Just as well as the free North has been. The split between the North and South caused abolitionists like Douglass to continuously fght for the freedom among their men for their goal towards a independent, free South as well as the North.
All these selfless abolitionists and supporters of a country without slavery, like Frederick Douglass is what ultimately caused the civil war and emancipated the slaves in the south. Although Douglass was fortunate enough to finally escape to the free North and ecame a spokesman for abolition, many were not as lucky as he and were stuck in others who pursues to end slavery a sense of strong brotherhood as they make many sacrifices so that one day they too can celebrate 4th of July with true great patriotism on America’s free land.