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Amistad Case Essay

600 words - 3 pages

Within the Declaration of Independence, it states “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence). We Americans live by the notion that all men are created equal. Now that should not exclude any man, woman, or child no matter what their race is. In 1839, 63 years after the Declaration of Independence, 53 African Americans were boarded on the Spanish ship, the Amistad, illegally. The boat was seized by the U.S. navy and the navy held the Africans as pirates. The “pirates” were imprisoned in New Haven, CT on charges of murder. Since Connecticut, being up north, there was a strong opposition to slavery and had worked to allow all African Americans after age 25 to be free after March ...view middle of the document...

. . secondly, I derive consolation from the thought that this Court is a Court of JUSTICE. And in saying so very trivial a thing, I should not on any other occasion, perhaps, be warranted in asking the Court to consider what justice is” (Adams 1). John Q. Adams convinced the court to rule in favor of returning the Africans to their native country. These were African people who did no wrong nor were previously listed in the U.S. as slaves. Slavery needs to be outlawed due to the rights we Americans believe every man has. If we believe in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; doesn’t that mean all men, no matter where they are from, have that right too? Is there anything in the Declaration of Independence that restricts those rights? The conditions we currently have for slaves is that most can be released after a certain amount of time legally but they do not receive any support to help them function in society. Most do not know how to read, or speak English nor are given any currency to help them start their lives as freed beings. Bottom line, slavery needs to be abolished because it is simply un-American to uphold slavery.

References
Adams, J. Q. (n.d.). Argument of John Quincy Adams before the Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved February 24, 2016, from https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llst&fileName=025//llst025.db&recNum=1&itemLink=D?llstbib:1:./temp/~ammem_Myha::@@@mdb=aap,rbaapcbib,aaodyssey,rbpebib,mcc,afcesnbib,mesnbib,llstbib&linkText=0

Today in History. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2016, from https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/mar09.html

Primary Documents in American History. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/DeclarInd.html

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