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Declaration of Independence: All Men Are Created Equal Essay

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Updated: Sep 9th, 2021

Introduction

Possibly no manuscript in record has undergone as much examination as the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. In this official declaration, Thomas Jefferson wrote fundamentally of a novel theory of government, in which the government was expected to protect the “natural rights” of citizens.

In his Gettysburg Address of 1863, US President Abraham Lincoln concisely elucidate the vital significance of the Declaration to American history “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

In the United States, Independence Day (normally known as the Fourth of July) is a national public holiday to celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 thereby declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Ever since Thomas Jefferson has written the Declaration, several factions have inferred the document to connote diverse ideas, and repeatedly, the Declaration has been used to validate other political and societal activities. The Declaration is a significant historic document and includes several of America’s most fundamental beliefs.

The Declaration is considered as the original document of the United States of America, where July 4 is celebrated as Independence Day and the nation’s centenary.

It has been noted that Jefferson got several of his ideas for the preamble from the Virginia Declaration of Rights written by his associate George Mason and from his own draft preamble to the Virginia Constitution.

Jefferson noted that “all men are created equal ,” suggesting that this was “selfevident.”

Many conflicts and misconceptions may have stemmed from this statement.

Main body

Ever since 1776, nothing from the Declaration of Independence have attracted more interest than Jefferson’s expression, “All men are created equal.” However Jefferson and the other signers of the declaration could not probably believe this at a time when slavery existed in the colonies. For Jefferson who was an all-time possessor of slaves, this was a much more difficult problem.

It does seem to appear that Jefferson opposed slavery in principle but he saw no evident way to end it once it became customary. Jefferson rightfully apprehended that if the slaves were freed all at once, white chauvinism and black resentment would result in a war of extinction and that the whites would be triumphant. He fretted that if slaves were independently liberated they would have nowhere to go and no resources to stay alive on their own. Evidently, Jefferson and other Southern plantation owners were also economically reliant on slave labor.

Some may note that Jefferson made this statement as a slave owner and had no intention of granting citizenship status or equality to his black slaves. Others might speculate that Jefferson believed in a literal interpretation of this phrase and had no intention of granting equality or the right to vote to women. Also, some may note that some white men (if they were not property owners) did not have the right to vote.

At the time the American Constitution was formerly written, it symbolized the most gracious and most liberal political reflection of the most excellent intellect of that time. It stood as a visualization of idealistic optimism, a mechanism of honesty, and a representation of political constancy. The democratic system of 1776, in reality, only incorporated a small, fortunate section of the populace, the white, male, property proprietors, and not the myriad others, who comprise the America of today which includes full range of citizens of all classes, religious conviction, race, era, and genders.

The issues involved in this conflict are the decades of long struggle of African Americans for fair protection under the law and equal standing as citizens of the U.S. including the liberation, the abolition of Jim Crow laws, voting rights, school unification, and non-discrimination or confirmatory action legislation.

According to one more account of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and captivity of Civilians, Personal Justice was not given to Asian Americans, in the confinement centers where families lived in poor quality accommodation surroundings, had insufficient sustenance and health care, and had their sources of income ruined. Many of them continued to be ill psychologically, for very long after their liberation. The majority of the 110,000 people removed for reasons of ‘national security’ were young children, infants and adolescents who had not reached the voting age.

At present in America , Childhood, is considered as a holy time of life, for joy and loving, fostering interaction, for inspiration of astuteness, for study and the development of ambition, for the development and progress of personality. The United States as a nation, struggles with child education and didactic policy to exploit the potential of every child. But this was not the case in the early days of the country’s reality. In the earlier period, a child was a worker.

Whether it was on a farmhouse or in an industrial unit, the children of the working group in America labored, as quickly as they were able to, and for as long as they could. Children of refugee families, struggled hard to continue to exist in the poverty stricken circumstances of the eastern industrialized cities. They had to live in dirty, dim, packed, disease-ridden dwellings, and do whatever they could to earn a few additional cents to keep the family afloat monetarily. Socially aware persons were disgusted by the conditions which came to notice during the shared improvement era of the 1890s and started to insist for laws which would shelter young children. These and many other movements such as Voter’s rights, Women’s Movement took place in the United States which altered the course of history to a great extent.

The essay in issue would remain incomplete if the subject of slavery is not elaborated upon, the very reason for the debate. African Americans or black Americans are citizens or inhabitants of the United States who have genesis in any of the black ethnic groups of Africa. In the United States the term is commonly used for Americans with sub-Saharan African descent. Most African Americans are the offspring of imprisoned Africans who survived slavery in the United States, even though some are or have descended from voluntary refugees from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, or somewhere else.

Africans initially arrived in British North America

(future United States of America) in 1619 as slaves or servants. In the final decade of the nineteenth century in the United States, ethnically prejudiced laws and racial aggression intended at African Americans began to mushroom, which led to a movement to fight violence and discrimination against African Americans.

The Civil Rights Movement intended at eliminating public and private acts of racial discrimination against African Americans, particularly in the southern United States. By 1966, the Black Power movement emerged, which lasted from 1966 to 1975, elaborated upon the aims of the Civil Rights Movement to comprise ethnic decorum, monetary and political independence, and liberty from white influence.

The following gives the African American population and % of slavery in the U.S. over time, based on U.S. Census figures. (Numbers from years 1920 to 2000 are based on U.S. Census figures as given by the Time Almanac of 2005, p377).

Year Number % of total population Slaves % in slavery
1790 757,208 19.3% (highest) 697,681 92%
1800 1,002,037 18.9% 893,602 89%
1810 1,377,808 19.0% 1,191,362 86%
1820 1,771,656 18.4% 1,538,022 87%
1830 2,328,642 18.1% 2,009,043 86%
1840 2,873,648 16.8% 2,487,355 87%
1850 3,638,808 15.7% 3,204,287 88%
1860 4,441,830 14.1% 3,953,731 89%
1870 4,880,009 12.7%
1880 6,580,793 13.1%
1890 7,488,788 11.9%
1900 8,833,994 11.6%
1910 9,827,763 10.7%
1920 10.5 million 9.9%
1930 11.9 million 9.7% (lowest)
1940 12.9 million 9.8%
1950 15.0 million 10.0%
1960 18.9 million 10.5%
1970 22.6 million 11.1%
1980 26.5 million 11.7%
1990 30.0 million 12.1%
2000 36.6 million 12.3%

By 1990, the African American population touched about 30 million and characterized the nation’s most prosperous province with an African American majority is Prince George’s County, Maryland, with a median income of $62,467. Other wealthy principally African American counties include Dekalb County In Georgia, and Charles City County in Virginia. Queens County, New York is the only county with a population of 65,000 or more where African Americans have a superior norm family income than European Americans.

Conclusion

Oprah Winfrey is the richest African American of the 20th century and the world’s only black billionaire for three straight years.

To sum up, I would simply like to quote Martin Luther King Jr. who had a dream that one day “this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed — we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”.

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