When asked to symbolize the United States of America with one, solitary document, one might immediately think of the Declaration of Independence. This powerful and sacred document not only represents America, but is also one of main reasons this great country exists. America has prided itself on being the “land of the free;” a place for people to have “unalienable rights,” in which they can pursue “happiness,” and are free from unjust oppression. Thomas Jefferson created the Declaration of Independence because the founding fathers and he were diligent and determined to obtain America’s freedom, liberty, and independence from Great Britain. Jefferson paved the way for freedom when he wrote this document; however, freedom was not granted to all. One might say that the Declaration of Independence is a very controversial piece of history because it dismisses many different groups from pursing liberty. At that time, white males were the only citizens who were permitted to seek freedom and gain independence. Women were not integrated in this historical document. Because of their isolation, women endured poor treatment and went through immense difficulties to acquire liberty. In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments in hopes that the interpretations of the American beliefs of freedom and liberty can change and be reused for different purposes. When Stanton wrote this document, freedom still existed but the idea of it was distinctive from that of Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers. Independence was the desire to coexist not break away. While both the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Sentiments exhibit the exact same framework and have similar, if not, the exact same language, the Declaration of Sentiments includes a different meaning of freedom, is non-violent, and contains a list of resolutions.
While the Declaration of Sentiments and the Declaration of Independence have many similarities, they also have significant differences in meaning. The first sentence in both pieces start out using precise language; however, the two have different requests. The Declaration of Sentiments is requesting, “a position different” from what has been given to them and are declaring one that they are entitled to by nature and by God. This document is demanding that women have a different role in society that is not separate from men, but that is equal to men. The Declaration of Independence, on the other hand, is requesting a total “separate and equal station” from their current political bands and is declaring to obtain political bands that they are entitled to by nature and by God. The Declaration of Independence is requesting a total separation from Great Britain so that they can live independently with equal representation in the world. Women were not fighting for self-determination from Britain; they were fighting for freedom in their own country. Because of this, the meaning of freedom was distinctive from that of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Sentiments emphasizes women’s coexistence with men, “evidently her right to participate with her brother.” This document was created in a different time. In 1848, the idea of freedom was not the same as it was in 1776 for the founding fathers. Women wanted to live peacefully, but also equally with men. However, in 1776, America and its citizens wanted to live independently from Britain and be seen as an equal country. The Declaration of Independence emphasizes America’s partition from Britain and wanted to “utterly dissolve and break off all political connections” with them. Elizabeth Cady Stanton wanted to gain sympathy and arousal from America, and in order to do this she used similar wording as the Declaration of Independence. Stanton used one of the most famous and powerful lines from the Declaration of Independence to not only make a statement, but to also show what kind of free will she and her women colleagues...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document