December 18, 2014
15 December 2015 Freedom, the principal this country was founded on, is the common thread tying these speeches together, and even though their circumstances were different, each speech helped move the American public towards the vision of freedom dreamt up and made a reality by the founding fathers. Over the coarse of our nation’s history, three pivotal moments have provided impetus for one unifying goal: freedom. The Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech were all fighting for that goal in different, but equally important, ways.
The Declaration of Independence, America’s founding document, is the embodiment of the radical ideas of our founding fathers, as put into words by Thomas Jefferson. No longer willing to stand idly by while the oppressive British government infringed upon basic, God-given rights, the Declaration stated the principals most important to the American colonists, most notkably freedom, and their resolve to break away from their mother country. This document is the framework of our nation and secures the rights and freedoms we are able to enjoy to this day. As far as freedom is concerned, the Declaration of Independence is a milestone in mankind’s ability to create a fair and equal country that not only defends freedom, but fights for it at all costs.
Equality is a critical aspect of American society. It is engrained in all aspects of legislation, government, and everyday life. The Declaration of Independence stresses the importance of it in a free society. As the founding document of our Nation, 1,200 words of self-justification later, in the conclusion of the document the colonists declared that the united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; that they are absolved from all loyalty to the British crown, and with all political connection between them. This also aided in fathering democracy as a category of government.
Though the document resulted in the Britain declaring war conflict, America still sustained a victory in the war and became its own independent country. In 1783 with the signing of the treaty of Paris Under the terms of the treaty, which ended the War of the American Revolution, Great Britain officially acknowledged the United States as an independent nation.
The declaration helped every common person in the newly birthed country; distinguish their own personal identity, and show them their basic rights while living in the country and being a citizen. The Declaration of Independence help set in stone that all were created equall for all men and women. Finally we can see the effects of the first sentence written in the introduction: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal”. One of the more immediate effects felt by the Declaration of Independence was the abolishment of slavery and the freedom of black slaves everywhere. “That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Abraham Lincoln took these statements literally from the Declaration.
Abraham Lincoln's carefully crafted address came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches, if not the greatest speech, in American history. In just a two-minute synopsis, Lincoln recapitulated the principles of human equality that was embraced by the Declaration of Independence, and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle to preserve the union. With the schism from the secession crisis, this would bring true equality to all of its citizens. Lincoln also redefined the Civil War as a struggle not just for the Union, but also for the principle of human equality. Lincoln was often ridiculed for his views on the war and reunification at the time, however his stance proved to be the beneficial