by Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?
- Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was an African American social reformer, orator, writer, former slave, and leading abolitionist. In this speech delivered to a crowd of abolitionists in New York, Douglass reminds his audience of the inherent hypocrisy of an "Independence Day" for people enslaved.Pair “Excerpts from Spirit of Laws” with “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” and ask students to compare the passionate condemnation of slavery, analyzing how the two different genres achieve a similar critical effect.
President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
- President Abraham Lincoln
In “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address,” President Lincoln discusses the causes of the American Civil War and what will be required to repair the nation.Pair “Excerpts from Spirit of Laws” with “Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” and ask students to discuss the common theme of the natural place of slavery in human societies.
To Those Who Keep Slaves, and Approve the Practice
- Richard Allen
In this essay, prominent African-American scholar and minister Richard Allen meditates on the inhumanity of slavery.Pair “To Those Who Keep Slaves, and Approve the Practice” with “Excerpt from Spirit of Laws” and ask students to compare the arguments of the two anti-slavery texts, as well as contrast the rhetorical tools and tones of the two pieces. Which tone do students find more effective: Allen’s rational emotional appeal or Montesquieu’s satiric stance?