The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions is one of the first documents which clearly highlighted the needs of women as well as the problems that they faced. To a great extent, it reflects the Declaration of Independence which identifies the core values of the American society. This paper is aimed at comparing and contrasting these documents.
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On the whole, they are similar in terms of style and structure. Nevertheless, the authors of this feminist proclamation show that women were denied the right the privileges mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. They modify the original text written by the Founding Fathers to illustrate the hardships encountered by women.
While comparing these documents, one should first focus on the structure. In particular, in both cases, the authors declare certain truths which are described as self-evident. For instance, one can speak about the right to the pursuit of happiness and liberty. Moreover, the writers create a list of wrongs inflicted on them. In particular, the Declaration of Independence identifies the acts of injustice committed by the British monarch. In turn, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions enumerates the hardships faced women.
They are also presented in the form of a list. Moreover, there are similarities in terms of word choices and syntactic structures. For instance, one can look at the following sentence, “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes” (The U.S. Government). It is contained in both documents. Overall, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions includes many phrases from the document developed by the Founding Fathers.
Nevertheless, there are important differences between these declarations. In particular, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolution is more oriented towards gendered discourse. For example, the authors modify the statement about the equality of human beings. In particular, they re-write it in the following way, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal” (“The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions.”). It should be noted that in the Declaration of Independence, the word women is not mentioned.
This is one of the points that should be considered. Additionally, the writers emphasize the idea that in the course of history, women were almost always excluded from the political and social life. Moreover, the authors argue that the social institutions of the nineteenth century were driven by the values of males.
This is why they include of one of the following statements in the declaration, “He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice” (The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions.”). In this way, they underline the injustice of the political system which existed at the time when this declaration was written.
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By relying on the Declaration of Independence, the authors were able to create a powerful statement that could appeal to many people. It should be noted that the text created the Founding Fathers was familiar to many lawyers, journalists, or writers. Similarly, the values identified in this declaration were extremely popular in the nineteenth century. Therefore, the stylistic peculiarities of this feminist declaration made this document more convincing.
On the whole, these examples indicate that both declarations are similar in terms of structure and style. The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolution contains numerous references to the statement made by the Founding Fathers. Nevertheless, the authors of this feminist proclamation lay stress on the perspective of women who were deprived of the rights and privileges mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. These are the main arguments that can be made.
“The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions.” Rutgers.edu. 1848.
The U.S. Government. “The Declaration of Independence.” National Archives. 1776.