Speeches - Thomas Jefferson's "Declaration Term Paper

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However, Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence" also amounted to a declaration of war. He was well aware that the British government would not simply let the colonists pull away from England and declare themselves their own country or countries. England made huge profits from the American colonies and were not about to just roll over and let them cut themselves free simply because they didn't like a few laws the Parliament had passed.

In contrast to this is King's speech. While he lists the inequalities involved with being Black in a White-dominated America, he called for people to come together. He said, "I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood." He knew it was a dream and not a reality, as did everyone who heard his speech, and he did not propose that Blacks roll over and make peace with Whites by capitulating and cooperating with segregation and other discriminatory practices, but at the same time, he held out his hand and invited people of all races to learn to live together in equality. No doubt Jefferson knew that would not be possible with England. England had made it clear that there would be no governmental equality for the Colonists.

So, essentially, each writer said the same thing for each man's time and circumstances: that the people who were being treated as second class citizens were not going to tolerate it any more, and that in one way or another, they were going to achieve true liberty and true freedom.

The immediate result for each man was an escalation of conflict. People who hold power often do not give it up easily. However, both men profoundly changed the nature of the United States. Eventually the Colonists did win independence from England, and while race relations are not always perfect in the United States, King led a lot of people to understand that life, liberty and pursuit of happiness were the right of all Americans and not just those of European descent. It could be argued that King's was the more effective writing, because he accomplished his goal of bringing people together without warfare. The force of his words alone was enough to convince many people that the time for change…

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