Frederick Douglass Universal Rights Analysis

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Each individual is given fundamental rights for solely being a human being. Regardless of his or her nation, language, or religion everyone is given these “Universal Rights”. These rights are the foundation of obtaining the right to freedom, justice, and happiness. It is a society’s job to keep and protect these known rights, with the rule of law and uniting in democracy. On the contrary, from time to time there have been circumstances in which individuals have been striped from there given right. This theme of “universal rights” is found in Frederick Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”. In this speech he brings forth the oppression African Americans faced and the unequal justice that was occurring at the time. Through…show more content…
He could not fathom how slavery was still accepted and practiced in a place that was built on the grounds of freedom and equality. Frederick Douglass respected and praised the signers of the Declaration of Independence and believed it to contain great value “The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.” (Douglass 3). Although the principles of the Declaration of Independence covered great importance, America was still untrue to their founding principles. Frederick Douglass encouraged his audience to continue the work of those great activists whom brought forward freedom and democracy to this land. With this idea he then progresses his main argument and asks the audience a rhetorical question: “ Are the great principles of political freedom and natural justice, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, extended to us?” (Douglass 4). The question was said not for the sake to get an answer but to acknowledge that freedom did not pertain to…show more content…
According to Hobbes, every human being has the right to put into practice his talents for the sake of self-preservation and growth. There is a constant struggle between man and in humanity. He states, “ For such is that nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves, for they see their own wit at hand and other men’s at a distance” (Hobbes 68). This eternal state conflict leaves Hobbes to believe it is better to accept the established laws and customs of their nation. Regardless if unjustly inflicting hardship is shown in a minority or in subordinate group. For the sake of obtaining civil peace and security, we must turn away from natural and divine laws. Hobbes then states: “As if it were Injustice to sell dearer than we buy; or to give more to a man than he merits. The value of all things contracted for, is measured by the Appetite of the Contractors: and therefore the just value, is that which they be contented to give” (Hobbes 69). Here is another example in which Hobbes believes that man should stick to man-made laws and break from basically the notion of “ universal rights”. He expresses how human beings are selfish, anti-social, and competitive. The conclusion in Hobbes “ state of nature” teaching is the
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