American Soul: The Contested Legacy of the Declaration of by Justin B. Dyer, David L. Boren

By Justin B. Dyer, David L. Boren

The announcement of Independence has been the topic of competing interpretations in view that its adoption by means of the Continental Congress at the Fourth of July 1776, and for almost and a part centuries the political rules expressed in its preamble have encouraged reform routine either at domestic and in a foreign country. From the early debates at the nature of the yankee Republic to abolitionism, progressivism, the civil rights move, and modern debates approximately American financial 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 quite a few speeches and writings regarding the contested that means and legacy of the assertion of Independence, and a few of the records assembled jointly display how competing interpretations of the statement have formed, and been formed through, political clash in the USA. The assertion may be our "national soul," as Charles Sumner wrote in 1860, yet american citizens have infrequently spoken of it with one voice. American Soul: The Contested Legacy of the statement of Independence paints, with wide strokes, an image of the debates that experience formed a nation.

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The frontlet upon her brows would not longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished luster the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit. Stand forth, ye champions of Britannia, ruler of the waves! Stand forth, ye chivalrous knights of chartered liberties and the rotten borough! Enter the lists, ye boasters of inventive genius!

The human mind seems to have burst its ancient limits, and to be travelling over the face of the material and intellectual creation in search of improvement. The world hath become like a fickle lover, in whom every new face inspires new passion. In this rage for novelty many things are made better, and many things are made worse. Old errors are discarded, and new errors are embraced. Governments feel the same effects from this spirit as every thing else. Some, like our own, grow into beauty and excellence, while others sink still deeper into deformity and wretchedness.

Why has the whole American nation risen up, as one man, to do them 36 The Lives and Characters of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams 37 honor, and offer them this enthusiastic homage of the heart? Were they mighty warriors, and was the peal that we have heard, the shout of victory? Were they great commanders, returning from their distant conquests, surrounded with the spoils of war, and was this the sound of their triumphal procession? Were they covered with martial glory in any form, and was this the noisy wave of the multitude rolling back at their approach?

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