Declaration of Independence Impact in American Society

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In 1776, five members assembled to draw up the Declaration of Independence, a document that clearly stated independence from Britain, and listed the colonists’ grievances and natural rights. One of the most controversial components was the following statement: “We hold these truth 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.” The concept of equality debated and understood in a variety of ways throughout American history. Equality, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, can be defined as “the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.” Consequently, changes have been sought to obtain rights that were not easily granted. Marginalized members of society have fought to acquire rights, whether human or civil, since they believe that, as citizens, they deserve equality. The trend of change in the name of equality has brought about numerous fundamental and eternal transformations in American society. Abraham Lincoln’s speech, “The Gettysburg Address”, illustrates how government’s intervention to implement change is required when society does not tolerate and acknowledge equality. On November 19, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln spoke to the nation at Cemetery Hill to commemorate the estimated 50,000 soldiers killed and wounded in July of that year. Although the “Gettysburg Address” was two minutes long and contained only ten sentences, President Lincoln presented his grievances against the raging Civil War. He deemed that it was unacceptable for the Union to allow the Southern states to secede while sustaining that slavery could not remain legal in the United States;... ... middle of paper ... ...Web. 30 December 2013. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/margaretme130543.html Munro, C. Lynn. "The Revolt Of “Mother”." Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition (2004): 1-2. Literary Reference Center. Web. 2 Jan. 2014. "REMEMBERING JACKIE ROBINSON." New York Times. Apr 04 1982. ProQuest. Web. 31 Dec. 2013 . "The Gettysburg Address." America the Beautiful. Grolier Online, 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. "The Poverty Of Equality." American Spectator 45.3 (2012): 26-30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. Vahe, Gregorian Of, The P. "SUMMER OF '47 : BREAKING THE BARRIERS JACKIE ROBINSON: 50 YEARS." St.Louis Post - Dispatch: 0. May 18 1997. ProQuest. Web. 31 Dec. 2013 . Vonnegut, Kurt. “Harrison Bergeron.” Touro College. Web. 31 Dec. 2013. "Women's Rights Movement." The New Book of Knowledge. Grolier Online, 2013. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.

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