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Americas Equality is our Shared Reality - Essay Example

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Summary
When Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, he drew on the philosophy and wisdom of the great thinkers of the past. Socrates, Aristotle, and Locke were on his mind when he wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal[]"…
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Americas Equality is our Shared Reality

Download file to see previous pages... Without these equalities, there could be no freedom. Fuchs clarifies the unique relationship we have with freedom and equality when he testifies, "Liberty was grounded in what they called the equality of every person under God, a belief asserted in the Declaration of Independence". Equality is not a myth; it is an idea and concept that our law, culture, and freedom is rooted in. It is a reality that we continue to struggle to attain and vigilantly guard to preserve as much today as we did in 1776.
Jefferson's immortal words, "all men are created equal", were meant to be an ideal to aspire to, and that ideal is as real today as it was then. They were not stated as an accurate reflection of the current state of affairs in 1776. Jefferson did not imply that there was absolute equality and that all men would forever be treated fairly. He was keenly aware of the injustices facing the infant Nation as well as he understood the long road that lie ahead towards true liberty. Jefferson, a slaveholder all his life, was against the institution of slavery and looked forward to the day of its abolishment. As if looking into the future with crystal clear vision, Jefferson understood the grave issues at stake for America and the looming threat of violence and destruction if the people failed to accept his words. Writing of the necessity of a movement toward eventual emancipation, he writes in his Autobiography, in the year 1820,
It was found that the public mind would not yet bear the proposition, nor will it bear it even at this day. Yet the day is not distant when it must bear and adopt it, or worse will follow. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free [].
The reality of Jefferson's notion of equality is further evidenced by the slow, yet steady, progress America has made towards these concepts. When drastically altering our culture, laws, and society, change must necessarily proceed at a deliberate pace. While for many change has not come quick enough, we can view America's commitment to Jefferson's words and the reality of the idea by comparing 1776 to today. When the Declaration of Independence was written, there was an entrenched system of slavery that affected a single race. Women were not allowed to own property and only a minority of the population were allowed to vote. The issue of the displaced Native Americans still loomed in the future.
Sixty years after the revolution for equality, women were granted the right to own property. Every generation since then has seen more equality affecting more people than their parents had witnessed. The next generation saw these immortal words reaffirmed at Gettysburg, P.A., when Lincoln proclaimed that America was, "[] conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal". Equality was no myth to Lincoln as he tackled the difficult task of freeing the slaves and playing out the prediction that Jefferson had made forty years earlier. Ensuing years would be graced with the monumental Fourteenth Amendment, which once again framed Jefferson's words as it reads, "[] nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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