Declaration of Independence and Letter from Birmingham Jail

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, United States, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 3 (1089 words) Published: September 7, 2010
Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. are two American men who were key leaders during very controversial periods in U.S. history, and they were instrumental in movements that forever changed American society. Although their generations, cultures, backgrounds, and motives were quite different, their cause was relatively the same. It was a cause that stood against injustice, oppression, and sought the freedom of all men. Their beliefs and struggles were evident in their writings. Two of the most famous writings in particular are "Declaration of Independence" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail". Both writings are very effective and successful in reaching out to their intended audience. However, "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is more effective in communicating its purpose to its audience. This was done in a time when black men and women were systematically and violently denied a platform from which they could publicly voice their issues to the nation. "Declaration of Independence" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail" were written during controversial times, never the less, they established a justified purpose in the hearts of the men who were privileged to read them. However, the true integrity behind the purpose of each writing is measured by looking at the men who wrote them and their way of life. Both men were very intelligent and educated men of high moral and religious character. However, one would question the integrity of a person that claims that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and on the other hand, lives his life as a slave owner. The freedom and equality of slaves with whites, was never considered in the writing of the Declaration because slavery was very much a part of all of the colonies when that document was written. As a matter of fact, slavery remained a part of colonial life for almost one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence...
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