91 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2017
    1. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union

      Why cant he always give information to Congress? or Why doesn't he always get the information?

    2. but no religious Test shall ever be required

      If most people becoming a part of the house were the same religion, what was the point of a religious test in the first place?

    3. Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

      So the new laws can change any old laws that contradict? Could this go wrong? Possibly

    4. The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

      What if the number of states expand, then what is the new ratio?

    5. form a more perfect Union

      A union can't be more perfect. It's the reason why you made the constitution

    1. still lingering in the period of childhood.

      It means that it is okay for America to make mistakes at this time, but not after a while

    2. your nation

      It isn't his nation

    3. He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have.

      Also, why would he be so nervous when he has already spoke at many events?

    4. Friends and Fellow Citizens

      Who in the audience wouldn't be friendly to him if it is a meeting of people who support him and wanted him there?

    5. all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited, it ought to command respect

      It is just ironic how minorities were still not being treated equally

    6. Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

      Do 'friends' and 'fellow citizens' mean the same group of people?

    7. Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom?

      In the following three paragraphs, the author uses question marks for many times, strongly indicating that he has so many questions left without having a proper answer from the government, the church, and the law. It is very ironic just like what he says after making this questions that seem obvious but are impossible to answer for those who support slavery.

    8. I was born amid such sights and scenes. To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its horrors.

      The author uses his own experience to demonstrate how serious the problem of slavery is at that time. From the persepective of a child, readers can feel the emotions much more stronger, since even a child, without realizing how serious the actual condition is, often feels a sense of horror.

    9. God speed the year of jubilee The wide world o’er When from their galling chains set free, Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee, And wear the yoke of tyranny Like brutes no more. That year will come, and freedom’s reign, To man his plundered fights again Restore. God speed the day when human blood Shall cease to flow! In every clime be understood, The claims of human brotherhood, And each return for evil, good, Not blow for blow; That day will come all feuds to end. And change into a faithful friend Each foe. God speed the hour, the glorious hour, When none on earth Shall exercise a lordly power, Nor in a tyrant’s presence cower; But all to manhood’s stature tower, By equal birth! That hour will come, to each, to all, And from his prison-house, the thrall Go forth. Until that year, day, hour, arrive, With head, and heart, and hand I’ll strive, To break the rod, and rend the gyve, The spoiler of his prey deprive — So witness Heaven! And never from my chosen post, Whate’er the peril or the cost, Be driven.

      Considering the special social background of that time, having a religious poem can give more credit to the authenticity of his article. It is more convincing at that time.

    10. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen, in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto God.”

      The author surprisingly mentions China in this paragraph, maybe showing that his concerns of racial problems not on in African Americans but also in some other minority groups. He also infers that China and African countries will rise in the future.

    11. Did this law concern the “mint, anise, and cumin” — abridge the right to sing psalms, to partake of the sacrament, or to engage in any of the ceremonies of religion, it would be smitten by the thunder of a thousand pulpits. A general shout would go up from the church, demanding repeal, repeal, instant repeal!

      The author ironically points out the injustices in law despite it gives people civil and religious liberty. He mentions" mint, anise, and cumin" which seem to be good things in the law, but these things are the least important in actual human rights. So these law makers and politians are hypocrites in the author's view.

    12. In the deep still darkness of midnight, I have been often aroused by the dead heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of the chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my boyish heart was intense; and I was often consoled, when speaking to my mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the custom was very wicked; that she hated to hear the rattle of the chains, and the heart-rending cries. I was glad to find one who sympathized with me in my horror.

      A metaphor for how heart wrenching being a slave was and how happy it made him to have just a little bit of sympathy.

    13. The madness of this course, we believe, is admitted now, even by England; but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present ruler.

      Uses history as a parallel to his modern world.

    14. There are forces in operation, which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery

      The Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, not long after this speech

    15. day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.

      This paragraph just further points out Douglass's point on how Americans are using song and celebration as just a mere deception on how the people are covering up their crimes of slavery. If you were a man in the room listening to this speech at this time, how would you react or feel?

    16. Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting.

      Douglass points out with this particular statement that the rights for the people never included the African Americans. Never in the past nor during the time period they were in.

    17. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?

      Asking the citizens if they were mocking him is a very powerful statement. While reading this myself, I was very surprised on how aggressive and unexpected this question.

    18. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us.

      Douglass is finally getting to his main point in his speech about how the Americans and him are separated and that it is greatly defined on this day. The high independence the Americans gained, only led to the torture of slaves.

    19. I remember, also, that, as a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor. This is esteemed by some as a national trait — perhaps a national weakness.

      Douglass points out that Americans usually only point out the facts that favor themselves. This is also very common for some people to still do today in our society. If the Americans during this time looked at both sides, would any of the decisions thought about or discussed have a different outcome?

    20. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence.

      Douglas is trying to refer back to the idea of hope. He is hinting at equality being in the future

    21. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation.

      Would they still be cherished today?

    22. of your National Independence, and of your political freedom

      "You", meaning the white property owning males.

    23. quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have

      He is nervous to showcase his own opinion to a crowd of people who do not share the same, but at the same time he wants to change their minds.

    24. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.

      This is one of Douglass's main points. Meaning that even many people are jubilant, and are celebratory of their freedom, for slaves and many black people, the Fourth is a time that they are reminded of their circumstances that they are under, certainly not freedom.

    25. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man, (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgement that the slave is a moral, intellectual and responsible being?

      Douglass makes his point that slaves and black men are treated unfairly. 72 crimes in the same state are punishable by death for a black man, though only 2 of the same for a white man. This is a violation of a persons intellectual capabilities and rights.

    26. There, see the old man, with locks thinned and gray. Cast one glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn! The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have nearly consumed their strength; suddenly you hear a quick snap, like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the center of your soul!

      Douglass utilizes very strong language here in describing the horrible conditions that slaves go through. This humanize the slaves and perhaps even helps persuade people in the abolitionist cause.

    27. These men were generally well dressed men, and very captivating in their manners. Ever ready to drink, to treat, and to gamble.

      Slave traders obtained huge profits at that time. Interstate slave traders received a wage greater than that of an alternative profession in skilled mechanical trades (e.g. regular merchants).

    28. American slave-trade

      Domestic slave trade in the U.S.: due to the explosive increase of cotton cultivation in the Deep South, demand for slave labor had also increased; as a result, millions of slaves were forced to migrate and domestic slave trade had become a major economic activity in the country until the 1860s.

    29. What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?


    30. I will not equivocate; I will not excuse;

      Quoted from the famous American abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison's "To the Public", published in The Liberator in 1831. Full sentence: "I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD."


    31. My subject, then fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY.

      Some people are still suffering from cruel slavery, while the others are submerged in merriment from their national celebration - Douglass points out this ironic fact and condemns the falsehood of 'liberty'

    32. a nation whose crimes, lowering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin

      Is he referring to the Tower of Babylon...? If so, how is it parallel?

    33. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me.

      Slaves being tortured in southern plantations

    34. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchres of the righteous? Washington could not die till he had broken the chains of his slaves. Yet his monument is built up by the price of human blood, and the traders in the bodies and souls of men shout — “We have Washington to our father.” — Alas! that it should be so; yet so it is.

      Here Douglass is introducing the main topic of his speech, as reflected in the title.

    35. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

      Do such 'restraints, burdens and limitations' refer to the prejudices American people hold against slaves, etc.?

    36. My subject, then fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY.

      Right to the point.

    37. The evil that men do, lives after them, The good is oft-interred with their bones.

      "Julius Caesar" quote!

    38. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country, is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise.

      How far can patriotism go?

    39. They were great men too — great enough to give fame to a great age.

      Does Douglass truly think this?

    40. Oppression makes a wise man mad.


    41. But, your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. It would, certainly, prove nothing, as to what part I might have taken, had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy.

      Do corrupt nations birth corrupt nations? Is this what Douglass is somewhat hinting at?

    42. There is consolation in the thought that America is young. Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

      A good analogy for a withering country. Although, maybe there could be better ones?

    43. I repeat, I am glad this is so.

      There is still hope that America can escape its brutal past of treating black people as less than human. Interesting.

    44. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude.

      Who and/or what is he grateful for?

    45. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered.

      He is reaching out to the audience's emotions. This is a tactic for persuasion in a speech.

    46. A feeling has crept over me, quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech.

      I like how Douglass is diplomatic, but is also pointing out his lack of rights.

    47. Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

      Interesting heading. Diplomatic.

    48. He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me, quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country schoolhouses, avails me nothing on the present occasion. The papers and placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th [of] July oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for it is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall, seems to free me from embarrassment.

      Douglass first acts polite and like what others expect him to be: saying that i am honored and nervous to speak in front of the grand public meeting, etc. Possibly to start off in a "positive" road so that he can do his speech.

    49. not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to.

      At this point, he gives an explanation and reason why America did good by going against England- the home gov went too far by acting unjust, unreasonable, not parental behavior. He shows support to American revolution.

    50. slave plantation, from which I escaped

      Reference back to Douglass's past: he was born into slavery but "escaped." His speech leaves more impact because of his powerful history in slavery.

    51. The papers and placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th [of] July oration.

      What Douglass was suppose to talk about. Instead he talks about how the 4th of July, the birthday of national independence and freedom does not represent what is really happening in the country- While the whites are enjoying and celebrating their freedom and claiming to have a fully free community when there are still slavery and Blacks suffering at that exact time. He basically scolds them for being racist and hypocritical.

    52. you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood.

      Douglass, in this paragraph, is saying that because the United States of America is such a young country, it is still developing and figuring out its identity as a country. Since the U.S. is so young, it could more easily adapt and alter how its citizens see slavery and equal rights (Douglass compares the U.S. to a river to make this point). Therefore, there is more hope that America can abolish slavery and work towards equal rights.

    1. render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

      It is also an example of him being an not qualified ruler of a country, stoping his militaries civil rights

    2. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly

      Another example of him being a tyrant and using an invalid government system

    3. forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance

      It seems that King George had an invalid government, and has changed to a tyrannical government

    4. they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      Yet what if someone's pursuit of happiness was to be tyrant or for a slave to be free. Would they be allowed to pursue their individual happiness? No

    5. that all men are created equal

      Instead of saying all men are created equal, they should have said that all white men landowners have equal rights

    6. and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,

      This is assuming that everyone shares those beliefs in the power of nature and God. That is, this is exclusion towards non-Christians, even though this would not have been prominent in 1776.

    7. levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

      Later, the rights to "levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, [and] establish Commerce" are granted to the national government by the U.S Constitution, and the power to do "all other Acts and Things" are granted to the state governments.

    8. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

      George III's intention was to continue the war between America and Britain (although opposed by his ministers): "keep the rebels harassed, anxious, and poor, until the day when, by a natural and inevitable process, discontent and disappointment were converted into penitence and remorse"

    9. Tyrant

      [Oppressive government that employs cruel and unjust use of power and authority] Struggle against tyranny seems to be the theme for most, if not all, revolutionary wars. Does it mean that tyranny to an extreme extent result in rebellion in the name of the people?

    10. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

      In order to maintain its monopoly profit, Britain imposed heavy taxes on its colonies - also one of the major and most direct reasons that caused the American Revolution

    11. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

      Do the civilian militias today in the U.S. qualify?

    12. Declaration of Independence

      A statement of American independence from British rule, drafted by a committee from the Second Continental Congress (the thirteen states)

    13. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

      They are stating how they reluctantly have to hold the British as they see everyone else despite what they have done to them. Did American truly not hold onto that grudge? Thomas Jefferson also points out if they continue to fight and start a war then nothing will turn out well for both of the two countries.

    14. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

      Like Ryan said above, our current president today has made decisions, like the revocation of DACA, that most of the country does not agree with. A lot of the citizens in the states today believe that we should allow the undocumented citizens to stay here, but Trump does not listen to everyone and continues on with his plan.

    15. all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved;

      The people are wanting to have no more ties with the British Crown, but did the British fully forfeit their rule over the Americans?

    16. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

      Thomas Jefferson and the other writers point out that beforehand, they have already told the British rule what they do not agree with, but the British instantly turns them down. Also, to what extent is humble?

    17. that all men are created equal

      Relate to The Declaration of Sentiments (all men AND women are created equal), which was modeled upon The Declaration of Independence Apparently, the founding authors were actually referring to the white male when they say all "men" are created equal

    18. it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

      They are officially announcing why they are breaking away from the British rule and Thomas Jefferson was trying to persuade the people opposing him to recognize the rights they have that the British are taking away.

    19. Declaration of Independence

      The main ideas are from John Locke and the philosophers of the Enlightment

    20. forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance,

      This issue seems to be similar to an issue with the Articles of Confederation. (Inefficient governments cannot make decisions quickly, and that indecisiveness leads to events like Shay's Rebellion.)

    21. protection of divine Providence

      Providence, or the guiding power of God, is mentioned a few times in this text. The writers of the Declaration were religious people, and the philosophers who influenced the political principles of the Declaration, such as John Locke, were theists as well.

    22. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

      This somewhat reminds me of the Three Percenters.

    23. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      How does these rights apply to our government now? Not everyone has liberty.

    24. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

      This is a concern? When has this happened?

    25. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

      At what point do said abuses become enough for reason to overthrow the government?

    26. that all men are created equal,

      A lie. They never saw black people as humans.

    1. any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conferrence, agreement, alliance, or treaty, with any King prince or state; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the united states, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state; nor shall the united states, in congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility. No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation, or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the united states, in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue. No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the united States in congress assembled, with any king, prince, or State, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by congress, to the courts of France and Spain. No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace, by any state, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the united states, in congress assembled, for the defence of such state, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up, by any state, in time of peace, except such number only as, in the judgment of the united states, in congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such state; but every state shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accounted, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage. No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the united States in congress assembled, unless such State be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay till the united states in congress assembled, can be consulted: nor shall any state grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the united states in congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or State, and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the united states in congress assembled, unless such state be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the united states in congress assembled shall determine otherwise.

      Limits gov from overtaking their limits and roles and from taking the federal gov's power to manage foreign affairs, military power, etc.

    2. Article V.

      Delegates not chosen by people but by the Congress- power to national gov. They set specific number to how many and how long delegates from each state can have and serve (down below). It also secure security and total freedom of speech inside of Congress for the deletes- allowing them to say anything and all personal thoughts for their representing state's good.

    3. The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

      But this forces states to work together in time of crisis, and create a contract of peace among the states (reference back to the wartime period they were in).

    4. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

      Says that each state holds individual power- taking away control of national gov- less unity among the states and in country.

    5. Delegates of the States

      Not all states were represented in the commission to create the Article of Confederation. Only some attended the meeting. Lot of dispute between Federalists and Anti-federalists: why it took so long.

    6. Articles of Confederation (1777)

      First written constitution of the United States, and created from wartime urgency; progressing very slowly because of central authority fear and extensive land claims by states before was it was ratified. States remained independent, and Congress was the last resort to settle disputes. Congress given power to make treaties and alliances, maintain armed forces and coin money. But federal gov wasn't very productive because of its lack of taxes control (other regulate commerce).

    7. Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining in the measures of the united states, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this union:

      Article XI seems to be inviting Canada to become a part of the United States. Canada does not accept the invitation. This Article also says that other British colonies cannot be ceded to the United States unless at least nine states agree to admit said colony.

    8. Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state.

      This clause is in the U.S Constitution (Article IV, Section 1). The privileges and immunities clause is also in both the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution.