Governing the Nation: South Carolina Slave

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, United States Pages: 3 (821 words) Published: July 26, 2013
Governing the Nation: Perspective from a South Carolina Slave Marja Santiago
History 111
June 24, 2013
Professor Gregory Shrout

The philosophical ideals embodied by the Declaration of Independence declared that all men "are created equal" and therefore everyone had the same rights. As a former South Carolina slave, I was so glad to hear this. For once I was hopeful that maybe after all; I could still have a chance to be free. Furthermore, the Declaration of Independence stated that every person had "unalienable rights [which included the right to] life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." All I could think about was going out into the world, doing whatever I wanted, seeing my family, and working for myself instead of others. I could finally have my own things and be happy. As time passed by, my hopes slowly started to fade, I had not heard a thing about my freedom and I was certainly not happy. I was still trapped in the plantations, working hard for the things that I could not have. I started to wonder what was happening, when unexpectedly the news came in. The ideals of the Declaration of Independence did not have any legal stand on the states. The ideals of the Declaration of Independence did not apply to the slaves; it was more like a symbol of the states’ independence from Britain. I found it quite ironic that they would write that all men are created equal, when slavery still existed. How can slaves have the same rights that free man had, when slaves had already lost the right of liberty? It was really hard to understand why the states could not help us, they talked about freedom and same rights for everyone, yet it seem like this could not apply to the slaves. The main similarity between the philosophies in the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution was that both documents were established by the same people. The Articles of Confederation did not mention anything about slavery. This document was mainly a guideline,...

References: A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 -1875. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2013 from bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=127
Comparing the Articles and the Constitution - The U.S. Constitution Online - (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2013, from
The Constitution of the United States of America - U.S. Constitution. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2013, from
The Declaration of Indepence. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2013, from
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