The Pursuit Of Happiness Four Revolutionary Words, By Andrew Sullivan

858 words - 3 pages

"It's a small phrase when you think about it: "the pursuit of happiness." It's somewhat over-shadowed in the Declaration of Independence by the weightier notions of "life" and "liberty." In today's mass culture, it even comes close to being banal. Who, after all, doesn't want to pursue happiness? But in its own day, the statement was perhaps the most radical political statement ever delivered. And when we try and fathom why it is that the United States still elicits such extreme hatred in some parts of the world, this phrase is as good a place to start as any." "What power four little words still have. And what carnage they must still endure to survive. "

Andrew Sullivan's article, "The Pursuit of Happiness - Four Revolutionary Words", may have been the best or most intriguing story we have read thus far. But you didn't ask us to summarize it, besides how could we do that in only two pages. Instead you asked us to historicize this powerful piece, which yet is still a hard task to complete. In the opening line the Declaration of independence and its meaning of life and Liberty are mentioned. The Declaration came about on July 4, 1776, which recorded the proclamation of the 2nd American Continental Congress asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain (Webster's Dictionary). Sullivan immediately follows into references of the chaotic conditions of the 18th century. One example is that there were rumors and belief of witches; inurn innocent people were being burned at the stake, (where were their "certain unalienable Rights" then). As Sullivan states countries were being torn apart because of imperfection (I thought that "That all men are created equal, and, that they are endowed by their Creator )(God).

Additionally, there is the mention of the reformation, which was a religious movement of the 16th century that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church, and that resulted in the creation of the Protestant churches (such as, Evangelist, Baptist, Lutherans, Methodist, Presbyterians etc.). The Inquisition which took place from 1232-1820 and was a former court of the Roman Catholic Church, this was instituted to discover and restrain the disappearance from the churches accepted beliefs and of course their standards. There was also a growing political friction between England and her American Colonies, which soon led to the American demands for independence. Also Kings and queen who were merely human beings in a position of power wanted to be seen as Gods like Apollo and Rhea (the-pantheon.com). But...

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