Slavery, Women's Rights and Inequality in America

Powerful Essays
America by far is the most diverse country on the face of the earth. America today is known for freedom, equality, democracy, and a defender against tyranny. The foundation of American values lay in a belief of independence, nationalism, capitalism, and religion. However, many conflicts have arisen over these values in the past. Capitalism and other characteristics have made America great, but they have brought about their own set of inequalities. Those inequalities have deep roots in race, culture, gender, and wealth. In the 1800s two of the biggest conflict lies with the issue of slavery and women’s rights.

African slaves helped build the economic foundations of the nation we know today. Although slavery was basically used for labor it served as the oppression and inhumane treatment of slaves. The idea of white supremacy ran ramped in the United States in particular the southern states. Owning slaves in the 1800s where a sign of wealth. One of the wealthiest and former president, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. In the documentary Thomas Jefferson: A View from the Mountain, the idea of slavery to Jefferson is examined. He expressed his understanding of the importance of human dignity in the Declaration of Independence. However, like many men of this time Jefferson felt that owing slaves was an acceptable practice. He felt that those of African decent were inferior in case by both body and mind. The only way for Africans to reside in Amercia was to be enslaved. This was from the white supremacy ideology of the time that slaves were too incompetent to take care of themselves, thus needing to be under supervision of a master. This documentary also explored issues concerning a common practice among slave owners; that is the sex...

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...a land of opportunity and freedom. We state in our Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” However, this phrase at the beginning of our foundation has not always been true. Through the courageous efforts of the women and men of the women’s right movement as well as the anti-slavery helped redefine what it meant to be equal. They knew that success was not guaranteed. However, they were not willing to allow their past to determine the future. They were careful to make sure that the idea set out in the declaration of independence that, “all men are created equal” was true for people of all races and gender. In the face of adversity, they opened doors so that opportunities that did not seem possible were made a reality for future generations. They paved the way for future generations to challenge the American values as well as the experience.
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