Americ A Post Imperial Empire Essays

Americ A Post Imperial Empire Essays

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America: A Post Imperial Empire
One of the fundamental American ideals is freedom. So fundamental is the idea of freedom that the founding fathers performed an unprecedented act in word history - they declared independence from Great Britain in 1776 in the name of the liberty and equality. While some view this as a profound statement and a fundamental break from the past, the implications of European society “stratified sharply by social origin and race” (Roark 45) were merely codified and continued, not only in the colonies but beyond the ratification of the US Constitution and served to undermine the very ideals the American Revolution. Failure by the founding fathers to define citizenship facilitated social and economic inequality and exploitation and denied freedom for women and blacks in America.
The early colonial period in the British Colonies displayed stark social inequalities in gender that went unchanged after the ratification of the Constitution. Women were treated as second class citizens in colonial society and still could not achieve equal rights following the ratification 200 years later. The case of Anne Hutchinson in 1637 demonstrates the challenges that women faced in this period, when she was put on trial for violating laws that forbade women from speaking in public or teaching to men older than her. The social and legal mores of women are stated throughout the transcripts of the trail rancorously, referring to Hutchinson as “more bold than a man, though in understanding and judgment, inferior to many women” (Hutchinson, 2). This passage highlights the inequality of gender in the 17th century. Following the American Revolution things had not greatly improved for women as evidenced in Judith Sargent Murray’s Es...


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Toqueville’s incisive observations about the state of man in the United States reveal the continued pattern of inequality. The barriers of education and law were particularly salient to the plight of slaves and black people at the time, given the lack of legal representation or rights and the Constitution not recognizing people of color as citizens of the United States.
In closing, the US Constitution was a result of the efforts of the founding fathers’ attempt to create a government ruled by the people, for the people, following the American Revolution. The nation they created was to be a limited government built upon liberty and equality. However, liberty and equality were not offered to black people, women or Native Americans and therefore remained a revolutionary promise unfulfilled for much of the country leading up to the civil war.


















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