A Brief History of Liberty Rhetoric

From the research I have done for the sake of knowledge, I have come across many different versions of rhetoric that have had their part in history. There may be a variety of rhetoric throughout history to speak of, but I will be focusing more on the history and impact of Liberty rhetoric. Liberty rhetoric is defined as being a tradition of speaking about the relationship between the state and the citizen. According to department of history from the College of Staten Island, between years 1770’s and 1820, the origins of Liberty Rhetoric shined the way for many. From the Revolution to the abolitionist times of slavery, Liberty Rhetoric helped many to be able to have a voice of power that is still remembered today. There were so many different voices during these times. Some of these voices that will be discussed are Americanisms, like Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln, and there are still many other voices that came before those mentioned. A good example of a piece of documentation that is classified as Liberty Rhetoric. This is easy to understand given that it was one of the major stands taken by our forefathers against England in setting up our democratic country. The Declaration of Independence is also a great example because it includes what relationship there is between a citizen of the United States and the government. Which is exactly what Liberty Rhetoric tries to work towards. One of the more prominent speakers of the abolitionist time period was Sojourner Truth. An illiterate ex-slave to some, but a symbol of hope to many in her time and in the future. Truth’s life was not that of a typical slave. Truth was a slave of the North. My first impression when I learned this tid-bit about her was that she could have been taught how to read and write, but she never did. Slaves only had the worth of working in the fields or in the house. However, when one comes to recognize Truth’s mission as a speaker, being literate would not allow her to reach the many masses that she did. The rhetoric Truth used for her well renowned speech, “Ar’n’t I a Woman?”, allowed her to reach men and woman no matter the race. Which in my eyes, made the powerful speaker she was. She embodied the hardworking slave or man, a mother that went through the sorrows of losing children, the woman that wanted just as much rights as a man, and a person who wanted all the people of the country to feel what it is to be free. This type of rhetoric is still seen today in the voices of our leaders in the government. She is just one of many to use such a form of speech when it came to laying the ground for the democratic country of the United States. Liberty rhetoric is what built our country of today. It is what keeps the heart of the United States beating. No matter what party affiliation one is, we all have a voice that can be deemed as Liberty rhetoric when we speak of our life as the citizens of this country, the policies we agree or disagree with, and the protests we may have against different things. No matter the cause or event, citizens of this nation speak out more is being added to the history of this rhetoric. Citizens of the United States have that ability. Liberty rhetoric is the very definition of how this country works, democratically speaking. Where everyone has a voice and can chose how to use it.


One thought on “A Brief History of Liberty Rhetoric

  1. Pingback: Fin | The Joyous Life of Jess

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