Inequality and Constitution

Topics: United States Constitution, United States, Slavery in the United States Pages: 7 (2619 words) Published: February 27, 2005
Liberty, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is explained as the "condition of being free from restriction or control; the right and power to act, believe or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing". Liberty is a word familiar to most Americans, since the fundamentals of the country is based on freedom and independence. Symbolism of liberty (such as the national's flag, statue of liberty, the liberty bell, Uncle Sam, the bald eagle) can be seen throughout the United States as a reminder of the freedom in which this nation has achieved for over the past two hundred years. Perhaps one of the greatest achievement of liberty by the Americans in the past two hundred years has been the founding of the United States Constitution. Not only does the constitution deal with the distribution of government powers, but it proclaims the freedom of all individuals, abolishing slavery. Although freedom is technically set to the slaves by the constitution, but it did not fully fulfilled the description of "liberty" for the slaves. In this essay, I will begin by demonstrating how the US Constitution not only did not fully provide the freedom of the slaves, but how the document itself is not as "liberating" as it seems. I will also briefly discuss exactly how much "liberty" contemporary America has politically and the level of racial inequality that continues to exist in this "democratic" country.

Before explaining how the US Constitution has contributed to the complexity of slavery, we must first understand the development of the constitution itself. The development of the constitution goes back to when the democratic government was on trial in the early makings America during 1775. The thirteen British colonies then, had challenged the form of government they live under, claiming the conditions in which they lived in has hindered their rights, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. These thirteen colonies disabled themselves from the British Government and joined together to give birth to a union known as "The United States of America". Although, they were a whole, each state had established their own form of government. Alone, as individual states, their own form of government had proven to be successful, however, as a whole; the union had many internal problems. These problems were enforcing law and order, dealing with taxes, debts, regulating trade between the states, dealing with the first nations and governments from Britain. As the self-centeredness of the states slowly prevail, the union, "The United States of America" begun to weaken; especially due to Shay's rebellion , where the farmers refused to pay taxes and secured themselves with artillery to protect their rights. Although federal armed force were sent to cease the rebellion, but the rebellion had already challenged and undermined the authority of the individual states, proving how necessary it is for them to form a stronger government. Since the Article of Confederation allowed independence to each state, there was no main authority that binds the states together as one to solve national problems. It is then, when George Washington and Alexander Hamilton began writing the new constitution, in hopes to form a stable unified national government.

The Constitution is without a doubt, the backbone of the United States. It sets forth fundamentals of governments, rights, and freedom. With such a sacred document that such a powerful nation today still follows, the constitution seems flawless as it has been successfully been the main influence in American politics, then, and now. Since the constitution provided liberty and rights for all individuals, then why does inequality and racial discrimination still exist today even after the constitution has been established? The constitution is supposed to provide every individual with their rights and freedom, but yet, the constitution itself has flaws in its content for freedom and equality. By carefully examining...
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