US History - Dual Credit
January 18, 2013.
Many things have changed from the founding of the English colonies through 1877. Throughout the years in American history, the ideas of American Identity and American Exceptionalism have changed. There have been many factors that formed and developed America, among these being equality, human rights, and most importantly, the drive to be independent.
The Declaration of Independence seems to be the backbone of this whole country. It was based on what the people wanted and needed at the time. Written by Thomas Jefferson alongside 4 other great leaders, the Declaration of Independence is one the most influential and controversial documents ever known to any kind of government. When this document was written in 1776 it really laid down the foundation for the next century to come. One of the most important lines in the Declaration was “…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” (Strunc, 2012). This was perhaps one of the most controversial lines in any document ever written. At the time there was slavery and it really wasn’t considered a big issue. Blacks were not considered as men like the white people. People today do however think back to those times and wonder, “how equal were men?” Although all men were supposed to be given these rights, many immigrants and natives were denied these privileges due to the “pursuit of happiness” that other people wanted.
After a while of living in an America set up on these standards, the wife of John Adams had had enough. While writing notes to him while he was away, she mentioned, “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could” (Strunc, 2012). When she wrote this letter, she started a movement among all of...