By Justin B. Dyer, David L. Boren

ISBN-10: 1442211466

ISBN-13: 9781442211469

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 principles expressed in its preamble have encouraged reform activities 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 circulate, 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 yankee beliefs.

The current quantity brings jointly numerous speeches and writings on the topic of the contested that means and legacy of the announcement of Independence, and some of the files assembled jointly reveal how competing interpretations of the assertion have formed, and been formed through, political clash in the United States. The assertion may be our "national soul," as Charles Sumner wrote in 1860, yet americans have not often spoken of it with one voice. American Soul: The Contested Legacy of the assertion of Independence paints, with wide strokes, an image of the debates that experience formed a nation.

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Ye improvers upon the sculpture of Elgin marbles! Ye spawners of fustian romance lascivious lyrics! Come, and inquire what has American done for the benefit of mankind! In the half century which has elapsed since the declaration of American independence, what have you done for the benefit of mankind? . Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of mind. She has a spear and a shield; but the motto upon her shield is Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.

How this Declaration may strike others, I know not. —We too, I hope, shall acquiesce in the necessity of submitting to whatever burdens, of making whatever efforts may be necessary, to bring this ungrateful and rebellious people back to that allegiance they have long had it in contemplation to renounce, and have now at last so daringly renounced. ” [W]ith respect to our rights, and the acts of the British government contravening those rights, there was but one opinion on this side of the water.

To perpetuate the government we must cherish the love of it. One chief pillar in the republican fabric is the spirit of patriotism . . To preserve the government we must also preserve a correct and energetic tone of morals. After all that can be said, the truth is that liberty consists more in the habits of the people than in anything else. When the public mind becomes vitiated and depraved, every attempt to preserve it is in vain. Laws are a nullity, and a Constitution waste paper. There are always men wicked enough to go any length in the pursuit of power, if they can find others wicked enough to support them.

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


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