What Is Harriet Jefferson's Response To The Declaration Of Independence

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Harriet Jacobs is at the bottom of the hierarchy of the south. The only thing they cannot readily take from Harriet is her willing consent and her story. Harriet would have been well aware of the brutality that underpinned her situation. Any assertion of independence meant the immediate risk of her life. Thus, her defiance and declaration of her personal space comes at the greatest price. She is evidently aware of this stating that, “My Master had power and law on his side; I had a determined will. There is might in each,”(Levine 920). It is a wonder than knowing that she might be tortured to death each day did not temper her independent spirit in favor of survival. In the end, her greatest achievement was writing the story of her oppression …show more content…

This seems esoteric by contrast to the plight of Jacobs and the Cherokee and shows how much higher his aspirations and indeed expectations were. Wealthy landowners are accustomed to security in their personal and property rights and instead need relief from British taxes that reduce their profits. This is not to diminish to noble nature of their cause, but merely to put it in perspective. The American colonists in seeking political freedom, had made a deal with the devil and their pursuit of freedom brought with it the enshrinement of slavery as an institution, an exclusive white-male suffrage lasting for more than a century, and the confiscation of Native American lands as its manifest destiny. Immediately upon overthrowing the British, Thomas Jefferson sought to legitimize a claim to many millions of square miles of Native American lands by making a payment to a cash-strapped frenchman. The major difference between the space within which Jefferson sought to advance freedom, and that of the Cherokee and Harriet Jacobs was that Jefferson was a wealthy, educated, privileged white who was admired and feared by most that he encountered. In many ways, his accomplishments seem much grander, but also it must be understood that his was the least risky path. The noble language in the Declaration of Independence, inspires many who viewed history as moving from monarchy to democracy. “We hold these …show more content…

The “American Dream” is usually thought of as aspiring to change one's life for the better and materially better their situation. We think of it today as going to college and getting a cushy job, but for many in our American history it was much more simple. Many asserted their American dream by declaring their independence. The main similarity was that each had an audacious goal to improve their own life and the lives of some of those around them. Their pursuits of liberty were intimately entwined within the dramatic upheavals taking place in the land recently named America. Harriet Jacobs, The Cherokee, and Thomas Jefferson all declare independence and possession of their space. Harriet seeks personal space, The Cherokee seek property space, and Jefferson seeks political space. Their situations defined their aspirations and each seek to materially improve their status and the space they are in control of. They are all combating external forces of oppression. In the cascade each aspirant dreams of achieving the status of the next level, not the status of the uppermost tier. The slave seeks to be a free peasant. The free peasant seeks to be a landowner. The landowner seeks complete political self determination. The desperation of their initial situation focuses their aspiration on that which they feel they might

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