From the initial creation to the groundbreaking ideas that lead to the creation of our great nation more specifically during the late 18th century and throughout the early 20th century, the ideas of liberty, equality, and power have echoed throughout as key to the fundamental and structural ideals on which our country was built upon. The Revolutionary period, civil war and the Jim Crow era brought with each a new and different way of interpreting what was meant by liberty, equality and power. The choices and understandings of what each would be defined as during each period would bring with it significant changes and effects that would change history. The revolutionary period had a much more significant focus on the aspects of equality and liberty. An example of this is during the revolutionary period, with the interpretation and creation of the declaration of independence. This period gravitated towards the overall ideas of liberty, equality and power of the whole nation rather than just that of a single group of people or particular groups of people like the Jim Crow era did.
The civil war era had a large issue that no one really wanted to address but was a result of power as well as equality this was slavery.The meanings of liberty equality and power had evolved from the revolutinary period. The new issue or better yet new emphasize on how to deal with the issue of slavery highly combated the ideas of the once focus on the overall nations, liberty, equality and power, the new shift was towards a smaller group. It was no longer a focus on the free nation but on the small group that held all the power and limited the power as well as liberties and equalities of those seen as lesser people. As these issues continued into the reconstruction era following the civil war era, Jim Crow era began to arise and bring about once again the continued issue of inequality and lack of equality and liberties of a particular group of people. As African Americans were no longer owned by others as slaves there was still subjected to issues of equality as well as liberty and power as segregation inhibited the freedom and created more issues for African Americans during the reconstruction era. As times and periods changed so did the meaning of Liberty, equality, and power. The understanding of each changed much like that of the people, politics, as well as the issues of the times.
Depicted as a list of grievances the declaration of independence set the precedence of how the framework and reasons as to why the United States felt the need to be apart from Great Britain and be a nation of her own. It was the need to have Liberty, Equality and Power that was greatly the topic of discussion throughout the revolutionary period. As it is often repeated “all men are created equal…” Jefferson wrote this to emphasize the point that we all were created with the same opportunities. More specifically that no one was born better than another person. This statement had gone against the the inherited powers much like that known as the English monarchy. For men like Jefferson at the time however, even though he had said that AMACE, that was not necessarily the case for Slaves as at this time they were not viewed as citizens or even people but rather like that of property.The first sense of liberty for the United states was seen in 1781 when the Articles of Confederation were ratified leading way to the beginnings of the United States first central government. In this document however the power was not given directly to this new centralized government but rather it was the states that possessed all the power.
Since all the power was left to the states this made for an interesting dilmeena when passing laws and futher more when the discussion was reared towards the topic of slavery and the outlawing it in the north but it remaining a functioning instution in the south. As it was not the best form of law the Articles of confederation failed leaving the decision on what to do about the issues of no longer having a written form of government it. It was then that several white males decided to create a new document that outlined and was called the Constitution. As the men had created this like it had been stated Jefferson and others had owned slaves which would lead to the creation of the three fifths compromise. With the creation of the compromise there would later be the creation of no liberties, equality or power for slaves of the time. Over time new inventions such as the cotton gin lead to greater output by slaves during the late 18th century. By the time Jefferson had become president slave importing was outlawed, this was not really a disadvantage to slave owners as the poulton of slaves had grown domestically so much that importing was no longer a necessity. As was earlier stated we see that the nation was able to gain liberty, equality, and power from great Britain but in turn as we gain these qualities there was then a dispositional denial of these ideals to certain members of society and our very nation.
DIvison between between the north and the south arose as the ideas of whether slavery was to be a instution that should be enforced by all, some or none came to question. The south which was focused on the use of slaves for the purposes of agriculture dreaded and refused to allow the idea that slaves could be citizens and be free. As for the North as industry began to boom and grow the need for slaves had dissipated and the institution had began to disappear almost entirely. The call to action as to wheter slavery should reamin was with the Lousiana purchase which would lead to the expansion out west. Leading into the beginning of the civil war in the late 1800s there was a rise in the abolitionists. Several people began to show how slavery was a creation of evil, which lead to the forefront of the political issues of the times. The issue of liberty and equality was focused more on slavery but the power and issues where upon that of state and the issues it faced with the power struggle with federal goverment.
A prime example of this power struggle was the supreme court case of Dred Scott v. Sanford which denied citizenship to black citizens whether free or not. It affected the rights of liberty and equality obviously but hindering the black citizens ability to rise from any type of oppression as well as also created power issues between states and the federal government. The idea of popular sovereignty which stated that the people should be able to have the voice to not be imposed by federal laws when state laws said the opposite. The Kansas Nebraska Plan showed this concept which was significant to the beginning of the Civil War.
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