American History - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: American History Question One The significant events that occurred between 1783 and 1865 leading to the increase of freedom levels in America included the achievement of independence, the passing of the bill of rights, the American civil war, emergence of parties, the democratization of freedom (Foner 14)…
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American History Question One The significant events that occurred between 1783 and 1865 leading to the increase of freedom levels in America included the achievement of independence, the passing of the bill of rights, the American civil war, emergence of parties, the democratization of freedom (Foner 14). The signing of a peace treaty in September of 1783 in Paris successfully saw the successful conclusion of the American Revolution. The treaty served to confirm the state of complete separation of the new nation from the British Empire, which led to the United States assuming possession of most of the territories on the eastern side of River Mississippi and the southern side of the Great Lakes. When the Bill of Rights was passed into law in 1788, America became the first ever country to write its own law system and government from the start. In the same year, when the proposed constitution was debated by state convention, many argued that it did not sufficiently safeguard individuals’ rights. Following the criticism, James Madison was invited by the inaugural congress to draft appropriate amendments. From the twelve that he provided, ten were adopted and were collectively referred to as the Bill of Rights, whose prevailing theme was to protect individuals from oppressive authority. Among the amendments, some guaranteed freedom of speech and religion with others protecting citizens from intrusion by the state on private property and specifying their rights in a court of law. Thus, the founding fathers of the nation provided a flexible way that the nation could adapt to the revolving times and at the same time retaining the fundamental known and shared values. The civil war between 1861 and 1865 became America’s central event in the nation’s historical consciousness. The war resolved the issue of whether the United States would be indivisible and have a national sovereign government or be a dissolvable amalgamation of independent states. It also resolved the issue of whether the United States would uphold its declaration that men are created with equal rights to freedom or remain the world’s largest country to hold slaves. The war’s victory in the north ended the slavery that had split the country since its beginning. George Washington’s unanimous election in 1789 saw parties practice their freedom. Cabinet secretaries, most notably Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, debated over the powers vested in the federal government. Additionally, social and political struggles widened the span of freedom, challenging inherited power structures within America. Individuals became recognized by their worth, rather than birth rights. These events demonstrated the characteristics of a liberated nation. Question Two Events highlighting low levels of freedom in the United States between 1783 and 1865 included the 1793 to 1812 lack of freedom of the seas, the 1787 to 1795 activities of the Northwest Territory and the formation of the Confederate States of the south. After the execution of Louis XVI, France found itself at war with European powers and Britain. America took a neutral stand in the war, as France and Britain strove to stifle traffic into each other’s harbors. This damaged the maritime trade of America, because Britain and France are its close neighbors. With the freedom to choose sides, America was divided in its opinion on which country to support when neutrality seemed not to work. Conservative leaders like George Washington and Alexander Hamilton favored Britain, while others like Thomas Jefferson rallied their support behind France. By the terms of the Paris treaty, Britain was supposed to surrender all the forts in the Northwest Territory, which was the part to the south of the Great Lakes, where most of the activities of the Indian and French war took place (Foner 64). The British were slow to give up the territories, remaining in contact with Ohio’s Indian tribes, encouraging Indian resistance to American advancement with the hopes of creating a buffer zone to present day Canada. Hence, Britain was still holding on to America’s full liberty. Seven states in the south in support of slavery formed the Confederate States of America, in opposition to the call to abolish slavery. The Americans were split among themselves in opinion regarding slavery. Others claimed it was wrong for America to have fought for liberty from Britain, while slavery still flourished amongst them. Internally, even after independence, women were still regarded as second class citizens, not entitled to jobs or even reading newspapers. Although women had fought in the revolutionary and civil wars, the gaining of independence did not change the discriminatory family laws inherited from Britain. Women still did not have the essential qualification to participate in politics. They were considered naturally irrational and submissive, hence not fit for citizenship. With these facts, although America had fought for liberty as a single unit against a common enemy, it is clear that divisions grew among them once they were granted freedom by Britain. They were yet to gain internal freedom. Works Cited Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty, An American History. New York: Norton, 2006. Print. Read More
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