Equality In America Essay, Research Paper
Equality is something Americans strive to provide and maintain. It has become an integral and necessary part of our mosaic culture. Even now to the point that when people think of America, they naturally think of freedom and equality. People of many different races, disabilities and creeds have come to the United States seeking the impartiality upon which this country was founded. The institutions of this country have relied upon it, just as it was the created by the events in the laying of moral foundations. The expression of America’s citizens plays an extremely significant role in the history of equality in American society. In the pursuit of equality and the “American Dream,” people have authored inspiring compositions and sermons to express their feelings of what their country should be like and how exemplary it would be were it like that.
Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence is a worthy example of our nation’s struggle for equality. When the British began pressuring the American Colonies for more taxes, and generally becoming discriminatory, the colonists began writing poetry, drawing political cartoons, and painting patriotic pictures. The Boston Tea Party was another event in the classic endeavor for American equality. With the exception of the “tea party,” these methods of non violent expression gave the colonists a way to be both productive and assert their views to England. This was called the Age of reason. This was the time when Americans realized that they could accomplish any task to which they aspired, if they worked hard enough. They also began dreaming of a better life, one of equality and choice.
The Declaration of Independence was one of the first published works that outlined for what the United State stands. Also, it serves as a basis for one of our countries most precious beliefs. Personal desires and convictions materialize the peoples’ need for equality. In the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, it relates that when a country chooses to break ties with her government, a justification is called for.
The next section suggests the basic human rights that the founding fathers believed every government should allow their subjects. “…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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….”(Jefferson 428) Giving the citizens these basic rights would allow everyone the chance to achieve above their born status, and to strive for whatever might give them happiness.
Though term was yet to be coined, these rights give birth to the “American Dream.” The bulk of The Declaration is specific in making complaints to and about King George the III. All the complaints are in violation of some basic right or another. The Declaration of Independence in essence says to England, “we are free men, and potentially a great nation, we will not be restricted and bound by your unjust and inhumane laws any longer.”
After the complaints, are the explanations, of how the colonists have answered the unfair actions with protest or petition, and what their response to this treatment shall be. They then call the king a tyrant, “unfit to be the ruler of a free people…(Jefferson 430).” This statement is an example of the American work ethic. It shows that the colonists were not afraid to go to war, and work hard against the British to gain the equality they dreamed of. I suppose that those two, intangible, obscure concepts do pertain to the Declaration of independence. People felt very strongly about the revolution, and wrote and painted, and composed many pieces to express their opinion about it. Several versions of the American Dream were imagined all of which included freedom and equality.
The Declaration of Independence is an excellent example of the pains endured by the American people in their quest for parity. This document, along with several other legislations (Amendments 13-15, 19, and 26), and proclamations made by this government including, the Constitution , the Emancipation Proclamation, and numerous other judgments made by courts on behalf of equality.
The relentless pursuit of equality by the Americans is written about by more than one man. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” sermon is a very poignant speech. In it is the perspective of one culture’s ongoing effort to achieve equality here in this nation.
During the time of this sermon, African-Americans were openly and widely being segregated from Whites, legally in the south, and in a secondary way in northern and western states. Even though this time was after the ruling against segregation, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka of 1954.
Dr. King’s vision for his people was one he shared with those who had written the Declaration of Independence so many years ago. A vision that included the equal treatment of his oppressed people. In fact, he even makes reference to the Declaration of Independence in his sermon, “…and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir….” Though it was not mentioned in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, the reference to “all men (Jefferson 428)” didn’t verily refer to all men only to free men.
Dr. King’s techniques exercised through boycotts, sit ins, and marches, helped to usher in a greater age for African Americans in the United States. Rid of the segregation to which many had become accustomed. Also, as in the time of the Declaration of Independence, these discriminated and non citizen people used non violent tactics as stated above to achieve their ultimate and impending goals.
True equality in the United States is a goal viewed by many as a long way off. The tragic events that befall some communities are the results of partial treatment to one another. Prejudgment of another person based on their a non-conformist attitude such as a different choice in clothes, or peer group, or something as fixed as race, disability, age or gender caused very tragic displays of unnecessary violence such as the calamitous shootings at Columbine High School by two students, and the shootings just today about the children in Oklahoma or the senseless dragging of a man behind a truck in Texas. As more and more made for TV movies are produced to portray these acts of violence due to a forged sense of superiority or inferiority to one another, we as a culture really need to ask ourselves… Are we really equal? In desiring for equality by two of or greatest orators, if we are not, we need to employ every method necessary for us to be that way, a truly equal America.
an essay on equality