One of the hottest and most mentioned matters in American History is the difficulty of freedom. This is due to the truth that the younger American nation, especially in the early and middle 19th century, witnessed different notions of freedom that’s believed by her residents; and most contrasting in this case is the notion of freedom by the industrial north (who favored the abolition of slavery), and the notion of freedom by the agricultural southern states (who favored slavery).
It is well-known that the United States is recognized as the “home of the free and the land of the brave;” nevertheless, it is also well known that the establishment of slavery and the racism against African Americans played a dominant part in the southern states of the nation, dominated by cotton plantations (also generally recognized as the “deep south”).
This paper would then discuss the notions of freedom according to two African Americans, one whom is slave: Frederick Douglass and David Walker.
Frederick Douglass is certainly one of the most famous former slaves in American History; he soon escaped from his masters, helped in the strengthening of the “underground railroad” (a secret route that helped slaves escape to freedom”), and joined the abolitionist movement. His private accounts, in addition to his notions of freedom, may be seen in his work My Bondage and My Freedom. Meanwhile, David Walker can be an abolitionist; however he was free not like Douglass (his father was a slave, however his mother was free).
Despite being a free man, he additionally witnessed the cruelties of slavery in his childhood, and advocated the abolishment of slavery, detailed in his work Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Colored Citizens of the world, however in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America (also known as David Walker’s appeal).
This essay would try to make an analytic comparison of their concepts on freedom primarily based on these two works.
2. Frederick Douglass on Freedom One of the most compelling accounts of freedom as narrated by Frederick Douglass can be seen in Chapter XIX of his guide My Bondage and My Freedom, entitled The Runaway Plot (Douglass 271-303). In this chapter, Douglass was really reflecting upon his thoughts on New Year’s Eve, particularly upon his thoughts on gaining freedom and liberty (Douglass 272).
In his ideas, Douglass truly said one of the most necessary precepts of the liberty of each particular person, in which every man has the right to be free ever since being born, and no matter color (Douglass 272). According to Douglass, “I was not by way of the primary month of this, my second 12 months with the kind and gentlemanly Mr. Freeland, before I was earnestly contemplating and advising plans for gaining that freedom, which, when I was but a mere baby, I had ascertained to be the natural and inborn proper of every member of the human family.
The need for this freedom had been benumbed, whereas I was underneath the brutalizing dominion of Covey; and it had been postponed, and rendered inoperative, by my truly pleasant Sunday school engagements…It had, however, by no means entirely subsided. I hated slavery, always, and the will for freedom solely wanted a favorable breeze, to fan it right into a blaze, at any moment. ” (Douglass 273).
In this case, it can clearly be seen that Douglass strongly believed that each man is created equal, wherein each man additionally has the right to freedom, within the sole reason that he is human; this debunks the very notion of the racial foundation of inequality and slavery. Douglass provides thus far by saying that “My schools and powers of body and soul aren’t my own, however are the property of a fellow mortal, in no sense superior to me, except that he has the bodily power to compel me to be owned and managed by him.
By the mixed physical drive of the group, I am his slave — a slave for life” (Douglass 272). This is where Douglass desires to be free, for he believes that the master owing him is not, in any sense, superior to him, however is dictated by circumstances and by institutions to be slaved. In addition, the notion of freedom in accordance with Douglass, although it’s a pure right, should be fought for each time it’s taken away, that is the freedom that comes with motion (Douglass 274).
According to Douglass, “The intense desires, now felt, to be free, quickened by my current favorable circumstances, brought me to the dedication to behave, in addition to to suppose and speak…This vow only sure me to make my escape individually; but the year spent with Mr. Freeland had hooked up me, as with “hooks of metal,” to my brother slaves… and I felt it my duty to offer them a chance to share in my virtuous dedication by frankly disclosing to them my plans and purposes” (Douglass 274).
In this case, freedom is not solely to be fought for individually, but additionally for fellow men, for “brothers” whose freedom is actually taken away. Therefore, the idea of freedom by Douglass does not solely finish in recognizing your own personal proper to freedom, but also for preventing for the freedom of different oppressed peoples. After he escaped into freedom from slavery, he put into action his words by becoming a member of the abolitionist motion, claiming victory when Abraham Lincoln formally abolished slavery on the finish of the civil war. three.
David Walker on Freedom David Walker, well-known for his David Walker’s Appeal, also expressed his notion of freedom in a really expressive means, incomes the contempt of both white plantation house owners and white supremacists. According to Walker, “All I ask is, for a candid and cautious perusal of this the third and last version of my Appeal, where the world might even see that we, the Blacks or Coloured People, are handled extra merciless by the white Christians of America, than devils themselves ever treated a set of men, girls and youngsters on this earth” (Walker 4).
What lead Walker to express this kind of emotion to the institution of slavery? This is due to the fact that Walker believed the institution of slavery, in addition to the cruelty to slaves (who had been overwhelmingly coloured peoples) violated the very basis of the American republic, being the “land of liberty” (Walker 6).
In this case, Walker additionally believed that it is the very “evil” institutions of slavery that has violated the proper of freedom of men, stating that the system of slavery in itself is cruel and inhuman, and that it’s even the supply of all miseries and cruelties to all nations (Walker 6). Therefore, Walker argues that slavery must not be practiced at all, on circumstance that freedom is a right and it must not be violated. In addition, Walker also states that
“All persons who’re acquainted with historical past, and particularly the Bible, who are not blinded by the God of this world, and aren’t actuated solely by avarice–who are able to lay apart prejudice long enough to view candidly and impartially, things as they were, are, and probably will be– who are willing to confess that God made man to serve Him alone, and that man should have no different Lord or Lords but Himself–that God Almighty is the only real proprietor or master of the whole human family” (Walker 7).
In this argument, Walker seeks a biblical clarification, whereby God created all men equal, and solely God is superior to man; subsequently, it also follows that it is only God who has the right to become grasp of man, to turn out to be the proprietor of man, to which slavery is a direct violation of it. four. Conclusion One common side of the notion of freedom for each Frederick Douglass and David Walker is the truth that they both imagine that freedom is a natural right of man, whereby racial or class origin doesn’t count. Douglass emphasized its pure basis, whereas Walker seeks a biblical explanation to it.
Also, Douglass emphasized the facet of action, fighting for freedom not only of the self however for others, while Walker emphasised the wretchedness of man in slavery (Walker 32). Works Cited: Douglass, Frederick. My Bondage and My Freedom. New York: Miller, Orton & Mulligan, 1855. Print. Walker, David. Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Colored Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America. Boston: The Journal of Pan African Studies, 2009. eBook. Outline: 1. Introduction 2. Frederick Douglass on Freedom three. David Walker on Freedom four. Conclusion