Were the Founding Fathers Wrong When They Wrote All Men Are Created Equal? Free Essay

Published: 2019-08-30
Were the Founding Fathers Wrong When They Wrote All Men Are Created Equal? Free Essay
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Discrimination American dream
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1467 words
13 min read

Equality is one of the rights that has evaded the world for centuries and even after many changes and reforms have been instituted, equality is yet to be achieved. However, it is important to note that people are different and an achievement of absolute equality is not attainable. This makes it critical to define the individual concepts that models that are assessed when one is examining equality in the society. The United States is one of the most developed countries in the world and having enjoyed democracy for more than 230 years it is intriguing to note that the level of equality that has been envisioned in the country is yet to be achieved. During the Declaration for Independence in 1776, Thomas Jefferson noted that 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 (Congress, U. S.). These words by Thomas Jefferson have raised massive debate that has been commended and criticized in equal terms. The importance of these words on one of the most important documents in the United States cannot be overstated since they lay the foundation for the models that are in place to date (Jefferson 54). However, they were also vague in their terms a factor that was identifiable from their application in the society.

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Thesis: All men are not equal but that should not be used in defining the rule of law or Rights that are given to individuals in the society

The words by Thomas Jefferson have been highlighted and highly regarded as equivocal in laying the foundation for other rights and models that have been used in the US to date. The same picture is not painted once one assesses the effects that these words had when they were first actionable. Thomas Jefferson had hundreds of slaves who used to work and did not free them even after the rules were embedded in the countrys Constitution (Will 98). It is difficult to argue on the applicability of the words then since they were vague and the terms used were only meant to ensure that he did not clarify on the fundamental underlying principles in the Constitution. Slavery continued in the country for years and reflecting on the meaning of these words in the society in 1776 they were meant to give equal rights to members depending on their class or gender. If only they had been meant to mean equality for all it would be hard to argue on the effects that they would have had on the Black Americans who were enslaved and not given any equal rights in the society. The women were also not given an equal right a factor that continued for years before the society finally accepted the position of women and African American people in the society.

The African Americans have been treated as Second Class citizens for years and some of the scholars have gone on to look for ways to disregard them as being equal to the Whites (Mettler 64). There is a massive difference that can be drawn from the words and expressions that were used by politicians and philosophers in the US in giving their positions on these issues and the practices that were orchestrated by most White people in the society. Equality has been preached and the famous Abraham Lincoln speech when abolishing slavery stands out as one of the most moving speeches that has been given on establishing equality as a democratic right in the US (McPherson 54). The events that later ensued after the speech in the country did not represent the tenets and models that the country had established. There was a difference in terms of the models used thereby giving the people a chance to connect and make the best opportunities in the world. The White Men continued to be differentiated from other members of the society and would not be given an equal and similar chance to date (McPherson 90). The democratic institutions and leaders may have described tenets and models that could later be use to argue for equality but at the time of their arguments the models that were adopted was nothing but the opposite.

It is critical to note that equality is not self-evident and can therefore, not be an innate aspect that has been achieved at creation. There are many dynamics that makes people different and unequal in the society. When one says that all people are created equal in literal terms it means that they have equal opportunities, level of understanding knowledge and are all alike. These aspects cannot all be true to all the people in the world since it would mean that countries and people could not be differentiated since they would gain the same level of control in the society (Will 35). The statement may be true to the point before one leaves the mothers womb although this is not also literally true as science represents. It is therefore, impossible to argue that people are created equal since man and woman are different making their rights and needs in the society differentiated. Arguing for a world where equality is absolute and people should all be given equal terms and models is therefore, not applicable. There are different models and qualities that ensure people can be differentiated in the society making it critical to establish a moderating principle that needs to be observed through giving individualized models in the society.

Aspects of inequality are not only the confines of the past but they are applicable to the present society as well. In a world where the people believe that equality is a universal right and the democratic institutions have developed to try and treat people equally the classes that have developed have huge equality discrepancies. In Germany a country that allows immigrants to enter the country and practice their own culture the level of inequality between the groups is massive (Mettler 72). There is a difference between the Germans in the country and the immigrants, since they are not accorded the same respect and rights as German citizens. In the US the level of equality as can be identified in the composition of most management board in major companies is also staggering (Caliendo 84). Although it is important to maintain a circle of members that are believed to be good at their jobs, it is also critical for a diversified composition. The number of women as well as the minority groups that occupy these positions is very minimal. This paper does not only wish to identify the negative aspects that can be drawn from the people therefore, notes that Whites graduate highest in colleges and the number of inventions and creative concepts that can be accorded to the Whites is also very high. One may argue that a lack of equal opportunities in the society has given rise to these factors but this aligns with the fact that not all people are equal.

It is imperative that one notes that although the models and aspects that the forefathers and other scholars represented did not achieve what would be ideal, it has contributed to the democracy of the country. Thomas Jefferson may not have been a Saint but the words in the Declaration of Independence were adopted in the judicial processes to great effect (Will 86). In any trial in the US the judges are governed by these principles as they look to exercise the law based on the fact that all people are created equal therefore should have an equal representation and judged fairly. The Courts have exercised an equal playing field given the position or judicial precedents that have been exercised in the past. Although they were not immediately adopted I practice they had been identified as a law and needed to be followed going forward.

In conclusion, people may not be equal but, they have inalienable rights and protection under the law that is dependent on being human. The fundamental concepts and models that have since been established have been important in giving the American democracy a chance to develop its institutions and develop the best models. We may not all be equal but people needed to be treated equally. We are all equal but some are more equal than others.

Works Cited

Caliendo, Stephen. Inequality in America: Race, Poverty, and Fulfilling Democracy's Promise. Westview Press, 2014.

Congress, U. S. "Declaration of independence." Available in: http://memory. loc. gov/cgi-bin/ampage (1776).

Jefferson, Thomas. The declaration of independence. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952.

McPherson, James M. Abraham Lincoln and the second American revolution. Oxford University Press, 1992.

Mettler, Suzanne. Degrees of inequality: How the politics of higher education sabotaged the American dream. Basic Books, 2014.

Wills, Garry. Inventing America: Jefferson's declaration of independence. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002.

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