Frederick Douglass Patriotism Analysis

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In the journal by Bernard R. Boxill, "Frederick Douglass's Patriotism," Boxill guides readers through the transformation of Frederick Douglass from a man possessing no patriotism or country, to a man staking his position as a patriot within a country. Throughout the text, he presents the internal and external conflicts Frederick Douglass faces, "from claiming that he had no country... and gone on to claim that he had a country... claiming that he was not a patriot... to claim that he was a patriot... claiming that he did not love the U.S. he had gone on to claim that he did love the U.S.."(Boxill 303). Boxill ponders "what had provoked these metamorphoses," (Boxill, 303) and depicts the dramatic change in Frederick Douglass' worldview. Boxill first discusses Douglass's interactions, with the prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and his associate Wendell Phillips, while in England. They affirm to him that they adamantly believe the United States Constitution is a pro-slavery document. With this revelation, Douglass feels he surely would not love the United States if the Constitution is pro-slavery and does not recognize him as a human being. Upon returning to the United States, he is convinced by individuals, "Lysander Spooner, Gerrit Smith and others," (Boxill, 303) who…show more content…
To describe Douglass's point of view, Boxill writes, "Given that the U.S. supported slavery; despite having a constitution specifically designed to end slavery, he would have to suppose that its government and people were wickedly misreading, misinterpreting, or simply ignoring its constitution" (Boxill 304). To further describe Douglass's conflict, he states, "The more he sang the virtues of the Constitution the more he mourned the vices of the government and the people" (Boxill 304). Portraying the American people as hypocrites and traitors to the Constitution, he exhibits Douglass' negative views of the people of the early nineteenth
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