In numerous localities, the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence prompted public celebrations— no doubt, forerunners of subsequent Fourth of July celebrations in which the American people, Members of Congress, U.
Presidents, and others have publicly commemorated the anniversary of the Declaration. The Declaration and its annual celebrations also furthered the development of an activist democratic political culture once social groups and individuals including political candidates recognized the derivative rhetorical and political opportunities associated with these public events. Since at least , the Declaration and the Fourth of July have been prominent parts of American civic discourses, political campaigns, and the beginning of many political careers, including U.
Representative and Senator Daniel Webster whose early public speaking reputation began and grew with every Fourth of July speech he gave Remini, ; Waldstreicher, ; Burstein, Historical Uses of the Declaration of Independence In addition to the identified general influences of the Declaration of Independence upon the U. For the sake of analytical clarity, these historical particulars are organized and presented below in four chronological eras.
The first era extends from to ; the second from to; the third from to ; and the fourth era from to Members of Congress additionally recognized the anniversary of the Declaration, but with few legislative sessions extending into July, many were free to participate in Fourth of July celebrations in their local communities.
Outside of Congress, the Declaration of Independence was revered both in private and in public celebrations throughout the Revolutionary years as the original public statement of the American cause.
Its substantive content, however, was not widely contested or used to justify much beyond efforts to secure American Independence from Great Britain. There also is little evidence that delegates to the Constitutional Convention consulted the Declaration when debating, composing, or subsequently ratifying the new U. Constitution Detweiler, , pp. Too much, however, can be made of these early silences in the historical record, for much of the Constitution embodies the principles of consent, limited government, and constitutional change articulated originally in the Declaration.
By the s, Fourth of July celebrations had become public, ritualized, principally local expressions of Independence and American nationalism. To some, the popularity of these celebrations exposed a fuller understanding of the constitutional significance of the Declaration. Antislavery advocates also recognized the value of marrying Fourth of July celebrations with their Declaration-supported arguments against slavery. American Presidents and Members of Congress were slower and more cautious in their early uses of the Declaration.
An early exception occurred when the First Congress debated an impost bill in In the end, at the urging of others including his Virginia colleague James Madison, Parker agreed to withdraw his original motion. More commonly, early Members of Congress and Presidents occasionally found it useful to recall or echo parts of the Declaration in their public discussions and writings. In Letters of Helvidius , for example, U.
Toward the end of the s, opponents of President John Adams discovered additional political uses of the Declaration, employing it effectively in their efforts to build a national opposition party against him and the Federalists. Caught in opposition to the Declaration and, after , with an unpalatable interpretation of the Constitution, Federalists were silenced by the new symbolic and conceptual consensus, never again regaining control of either Congress or the Presidency.
Two additional uses of the Declaration of Independence before also deserve mentioning. Calhoun, one of the War Hawks who emerged in the U. House, explained his militant stand against Great Britain in language and a rhetorical style reminiscent of the Declaration.
In addition to agreeing to rebuild parts of Washington, D. Congress that was to be built between the House and Senate chambers—a building project that delayed completion of the Trumbull commission until In November , under the watchful eye of Members of.
With the conclusion of the War, foreign threats and invasions also seemed to grow increasingly distant and improbable for all but the most anxious nationalists. Shorn from these traditional uses and conceptual moorings, a variety of individuals and social groups infused the Declaration with new meanings and uses. Abolitionists continued to look to the Declaration and its explicit endorsements of the Creator, human equality and freedom as the great constitutional touchstone that legitimized their social cause.
Not surprisingly, many of these groups wove their social reform agendas into the discourses and activities associated with annual yet still localized Fourth of July celebrations. Members of Congress and U. Presidents also employed and reacted to the Declaration of Independence in new and unconventional ways. In subsequent debates over the status of Missouri, Pennsylvania Representative Joseph Hemphill , employed the Declaration with less discrimination than Fuller, arguing that neither the Declaration nor the U.
Constitution limited citizenship based upon skin color. They were identified with the nation, and its wealth consisted, in part, of their labor. They had fought for their country, and were righteously included in the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
This was their condition when the Constitution of the United States was framed, and that high instrument does not cast the least shade of doubt upon any of their rights or privileges; but on the contrary, I may challenge gentlemen to examine it, with all the ability they are capable of, and see if it contains a single expression that deprives them of any privileges that is bestowed on others. Their situation is similar to others, in relation to the acquirement of property, and the various pursuits of industry.
They are entitled to the same rights of religion and protection, and are subjected to the same punishments. They are enumerated in the census.
Slavery apologists in Congress aggressively countered these new egalitarian interpretations of the Declaration of Independence.
As historian Philip F. Other Members attacked their non-slave state critics for their recent embrace of the Declaration. Kentucky Senator Richard M. Liberation for all citizens of the United States of America is commonly believed to have been established by the Declaration of Independence, being written in order to separate the colonies from the British Crown, and.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in Its purpose was to declare the 13 colonies in America free and independent from Great Britain, get other colonists on board, and to encourage other nations to help them.
Jefferson not only wrote how they were splitting from Britain, but he also gave thorough reasoning as to why they should be allowed to do so. In order to do that he u. As for a dependent country, one of their most desired goals was of course, to become a self-dependent ruling country.
However, to achieve this goal is not as easy as to say it. This is something that the majority of the citizens in the country have to agree upon and the congress has to be in favor of this too.
When all of these are accomplished, then, a document would have to be drafted and printe. The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopted on July 4th, , and proclaimed the secession of 13 North American colonies from the U.
The Goals of the Declaration of Independence Essay Words | 5 Pages. The Goals of the Declaration of Independence The American Revolution was not only a battle between the British and the colonists; it was a historical movement that brought about new ways of thinking.
Declaration Of Independence The Declaration of Independence is a document that was written by the continental congress and tommas Jefferson in perticular to the king of england and the english parlament. It was written as a statement to the english that .
- Summation of the Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence, composed in Congress, on July 4, , was not only a statement displaying the rights of the governed, but was a declaration of why the thirteen states of the United States was separating themselves from Great Britain. Analysis of the Declaration of Independence Essay Words | 5 Pages Analysis of The Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson was made in order to give the colonists a way to break free from the shackles of King George.
The Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in Its purpose was to declare the 13 colonies in America free and independent from Great Britain, get other colonists on board, and to encourage other nations to help them. Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now!