Final final essay

Final final essay - The Struggles of Slavery in the Past...

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The Struggles of Slavery in the Past and the Present During the 19 th century, Europe and America entered the Age of Enlightenment hich advocated reason as the primary authority. Many of the United States Founding Fathers in the American Revolution were heavily influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment. They used the English philosopher John Locke Social Contract theory as premise of the revolt hich stated that the government was only legitimate if it received the consent of the people and protected natural rights of life, liberty, and property. Based on this assertion, many of the Transcendentalists, especially Henry David Thoreau, had a problem with slavery. Transcendentalism was a reactionary movement against the society of the Enlightenment. Thoreau saw slavery as a horrific human act and it disappointed him greatly to know that this was happening in his country. Slavery was an immense struggle in the 19 th century not just in the United States but all over the world such as in England led by William Wilberforce and it continues to be a problem today as seen in the Legacies of Slavery Colloquium . American Transcendentalists focuses on four famous people who opposed slavery during the 19 th century: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Parker, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fueller. Although they all shared the same view of anti-slavery, each had a different way of presenting them. For example, Emerson method of attack preferred uppressed rage to open indignation, to combine moral fervor with cutting irony and insinuation, limiting passion and vitriol to short flashes (362). In his speech, he Significance of British West Indian Emancipation, he calls this event moral revolution. ..achieved by plain means of plain men, working not under a leader, but under a sentiment (348). Emerson is especially proud of his human society for accomplishing such a feat in England. He feels that this freedom in England
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is the first step in abolishing slavery in the United States and the rest of the world, as he says e are indebted mainly to this movement and to the continuers of it (348). Emerson goes on by celebrating that man is added to the human family he civilization of the negro (349). He adds that the anti-slavery world is finally accomplished in our world, in England: ere is the anti- slave: here is man: and I you have man, black or white is an insignificance (351). Emerson here clearly portrays his view that he is not a racist and he finds the color of people unimportant ather he values he intellect, for that is miraculous (351). He viewed this emancipation as a stepping stone to a bigger revolution and summed up his outlook: he sentiment of Right, once very low and indistinct, but ever more articulate, because it is the voice of the universe, pronounces Freedom (353). Emerson made another speech his time on his reaction to Daniel Webster, a government
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Final final essay - The Struggles of Slavery in the Past...

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