During the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries there were several different groups fighting for their freedom. These groups are the founding fathers of America, women, and black slaves. They each had written documents that officially gave them their freedom, but two of these groups needed a war to get them there. As you will see, they each took their own unique path to freedom.
First of all, there are the Founding Fathers of America who gained their freedom by breaking with England who was in control over them. This was done through their Declaration of Independence and ultimately through the revolutionary war. In the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers declared “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”Unfortunately, the Declaration of Independence did not extend human rights to all human beings. The first US Constitution preserved the institution of slavery and did not recognize the equal rights of women.
Secondly there are black slaves, whose freedom was gained through the white people in the north gaining them their freedom through the civil war.This was perhaps the most outstanding violations of human rights by the US. Slaves first arrived in America in 1619, but by the end of the century, the number of slaves had increased dramatically. Throughout this time, there were a number of prominent statesmen that opposed slavery, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Many Christian churches opposed it as well. The Quakers actively protested against it, the Presbyterian Church made several formal declarations against it, and the Methodist Church opposed it as an evil institution. Abraham Lincoln also opposed slavery.