By Justin B. Dyer, David L. Boren
The announcement of Independence has been the topic of competing interpretations on the grounds that its adoption by means of the Continental Congress at the Fourth of July 1776, and for almost and a part centuries the political principles expressed in its preamble have encouraged reform hobbies either at domestic and overseas. From the early debates at the nature of the yank Republic to abolitionism, progressivism, the civil rights stream, and modern debates approximately American fiscal and overseas coverage, the statement is, because it has been, a colourful and dynamic, although perennially disputed, resource of yank beliefs.
The current quantity brings jointly a number of speeches and writings on the topic of the contested which means and legacy of the statement of Independence, and many of the files assembled jointly reveal how competing interpretations of the assertion have formed, and been formed by means of, political clash in the United States. The assertion could be our "national soul," as Charles Sumner wrote in 1860, yet american citizens have hardly ever spoken of it with one voice. American Soul: The Contested Legacy of the assertion of Independence paints, with large strokes, an image of the debates that experience formed a nation.
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Additional info for American Soul: The Contested Legacy of the Declaration of Independence
It is of no more interest to us than the chastity of Lucretia, or the apple on the head of the child of Tell. Little less than forty years have revolved since the struggle for independence was closed; another generation has arisen; and in the assembly of nations our republic is already a matron of mature age. The cause of your independence is no longer on trial. The final sentence upon it has long since been passed upon earth and ratified in heaven. The interest, which in this paper has survived the occasion upon which it was issued; the interest which is of every age and every clime; the interest which quickens with the lapse of years, spreads as it grows old, and brightens as it recedes, is in the principles which it proclaims.
This, I say, is the amount, the whole sum and substance of all their grievances. . How this Declaration may strike others, I know not. —We too, I hope, shall acquiesce in the necessity of submitting to whatever burdens, of making whatever efforts may be necessary, to bring this ungrateful and rebellious people back to that allegiance they have long had it in contemplation to renounce, and have now at last so daringly renounced. ” [W]ith respect to our rights, and the acts of the British government contravening those rights, there was but one opinion on this side of the water.
Fellow-citizens, our fathers have been faithful to them before us. When the little band of their Delegates, “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, for the support of this declaration, mutually pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor,” from every dwelling, street, and square of your populous cities, it was reechoed with shouts of joy and gratulation! ” The pledge has been redeemed . . In the progress of forty years since the acknowledgment of our independence, we have gone through many modifications of internal government, and through all the vicissitudes of peace and war, with other mighty nations.