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Welcome to Historic Voices Podcast: Global History and Culture. Learn from the past through voices that made history. The podcast brings voices from the past that make history alive through their personal accounts, public speeches, and entertainment programs.  The voices are of political leaders, common citizens who lived during extraordinary times, and entertainers who helped Americans live through difficult times.  I provide a short introduction to the recording and another at the end to provide historical context.

This podcast is part of the LifePodcast Network composed of family-friendly podcasts that bring a positive message of hope and inspiration. Check out the LifePodcast Network by clicking on this link, http://lifepodcast.net.  Let me know what speakers you would like to hear in the future and I will work to find the recordings.  I am a professor of history at the University of Minnesota.  Check out my personal website at http://arendale.org to learn more about me.

This podcast is available through the following podcast directories and apps: iTunes, Libsyn, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Google Play, Castbox.fm,Player FM, Overcast, Spotify, Pocket Casts, iCatcher, RSSRadio, and Castamatic. It is available through the following websites: Arendale.org and the HistoricVoicesPodcast Facebook page. Follow our Twitter account, @historicvoices  

Please post comments to the individual episodes, post to the iTunes podcast review and rating section, and email to me. Thanks for listening, David Arendale, arendale@umn.edu 

Jul 3, 2017

The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Having served its original purpose in announcing independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his rhetoric (as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863), and his policies. Since then, it has become a well­ known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:

We hold these truths to be self­evident, that 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.

This has been called "one of the best­known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history". The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy, and argued that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.

The United States Declaration of Independence inspired many other similar documents in other countries, with its ideas gaining adherence in the Low Countries, as well as in the Caribbean, Spanish America, the Balkans, West Africa, and Central Europe in the decades up to 1848.