Vietnam vs America

Expository Writing 101

January 29, 2004

The introductions to the declarations made by the Vietnamese and by the Americans are quite similar. Ho Chi Minh used ours as a guide when writing his declaration. Two very similar quotes come from the beginning and end of the documents. The quote about “all men are created equal… among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is used in both documents to start their declarations. The quote about “we, therefore, the representatives… solemnly declare… right to be a free and independent country” can be found at the end of each document, declaring that both nations have had enough and are now severed and free. “All men are created equal” does not actually state what the writers meant. When they said “all men” they really meant all white men that owned property. They left out women, black men, Native Americans, and other ethnic minorities. I do believe the Vietnamese actually meant all their people are “created equal.”

The Declaration of Independence is the most important of all American historical documents. It is essentially a partisan document, a justification of the American Revolution presented to the world; but its unique combination of general principles and an abstract theory of government with a detailed enumeration of specific grievances and injustices have given it enduring power as one of the great political documents of the West.