The United States of America is a nation that was built on hope. The founders of this country were optimistic in the aspect of shaping a new nation, by leaving their motherland in order to be rid of persecution and tyranny. Moving to an unknown mysterious wilderness, signing the Declaration of Independence, and writing the Constitution were drastic steps taken by these honorable men with the intention of filling themselves and all future generations with the hope that there will be better things to come. Seventy-six years later, Frederick Douglass brings up the idea of being hopeful about the future once again in his famous speech of 1852, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July."

According to Douglass, America at the age of seventy-six years was still in the phases of childhood and youth. Being so pliable and vulnerable, the United States could become anything we wanted it to be. In that period, however, there were many people not happy with the laws of the nation, especially African Americans, including Frederick Douglass himself. His speech was the exclamation of hope to all the slaves and minorities that were treated unequally. The people that were striving for change and fighting against slavery only had the hope within them to back up their ideas of how existence could become better for every person being truly equal. Without the hope of being able to become equals, the slaves had nothing to look forward to. Many were discouraged because of the hard times and cruelty that they had to submit to, but the tiniest flicker of hope encouraged even the most forlorn slave to persevere because they could believe that they could make a difference for all future generations, so that maybe their children or their grandchildren would not have to suffer the same bonds of slavery as their ancestors. Douglass gives great inspiration to all American citizens even further by claiming that many lessons can and will be learned by everyone to make the future even brighter. He understood that the nation was built on hope and he was extremely aware that hope still existed seventy-six years later.

It is now the year 2010, the 234th year of our country and Americans everywhere still celebrate in honor of how far we, as a nation, have come. Slavery has been abolished and women now have rights, to show just a couple examples of the many lessons that US citizens have learned. Our nation is still in complete belief of the American dream, if not more so than ever. This shows that our nation, just as the way it started out, is still based on hope. It is filled with the hope of a better tomorrow, hope of a changing world, and hope of many great things yet to come. Without hope, we have nothing. Hope is not what gets the job done, it is not what has made so many changes to this country that we call home, but hope is what makes us believe that we can do it, that we can make changes and fight for what we believe is right, no matter what anyone else says.

Our country has become a nation of hope; it was the first step that our four-fathers made, it was still there when Frederick Douglass made his famous speech, and it is still in all of our hearts today. Americans are never content with what they have or with who they are as a nation, but since hope is evident, it is believed that it will still be here for even more future generations. We all live in pursuit of happiness and with the hope that day by day, things will get better. It is what gets us through the day and it is the very definition of who we are as a nation.