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A City Upon a Hill

By precise Nov 03, 2009 1161 Words
“A City upon a Hill”
America evolved from a colony of England to one of the most powerful countries in the world by a constant challenge of its morals and by making courageous decisions when it was necessary. Its accomplishments were lead by the greatest thinkers to ever live. America’s actions were sometimes immoral, and that is why the U.S has succeeded. Throughout history, the United States of America did not make economic, social, and political progress in reaching its goal of becoming a “city upon a hill”.

The U.S did not make economic progress in reaching its goal of becoming a “city upon a hill”. The building of America started with the American colonies progress from central independent farming economies which formed together in 1776 to create the United States. Once the idea of industrialization was introduced, people became less aware of farming and no more goods were bought from farmers. This is where Hamilton’s vision of America came into reality. The Industrial Revolution occurred and changed the image of America forever. The results of the industrial revolution were that America became self-sufficient. There were mass production of goods, cities emerged, and women began to work. One negative effect was that the revolution caused the Civil War. The South did not want to start an industrial revolution because they wanted slavery and the North did not. Another negative effect was that the factories were dangerous to work in. An example where nearly 200 women were trapped in a factory was the, Triangle Shirt Waist Factory fire. Conditions were so terrible that there was no emergency fire escape in the building and the women were trapped to suffer a horrible death. After the Industrial Revolution, the Gilded Age came along. Railroads were invented and they only benefited ambitious men who ran businesses because it was an easier way to travel. Robber barons from poor families were taking over the Gilded Age. People such as Rockefeller and Carnegie owned large companies which made them wealthy. These big men were living the life as others were living in poverty with no money or shelter. The economy at that point was based on capitalism. After the U.S won World War I, the Roaring Twenties came along and lead everyone into the Great Depression. The economy trembled and there seemed no hope for the American people to bounce back. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed many new socialized programs. The U.S managed to pull out of the Great Depression and was now based on a mixed economy of Socialism and Capitalism. Today, America is spiraling into another economic recession. Many banks are failing and this places the people in a position of going bankrupt. As of right now, America did not make the economic progress needed to reach the goal of becoming “a city upon a hill”.

The U.S has not made political progress in reaching its goal of becoming “a city upon a hill”. The First Amendment was why the idea of separating the church and state was created. Separation of church and state was not a law; it was more of an idea and was made not to keep the church out of the government but to keep the government out of the church and other religious activities. The separation of church and state protects religious liberty and secures a person’s freedom in their choice, of how they practice or do not practice their beliefs. It was also defined as the clear and distinct disconnection between religion and the public school system, which explicitly means that religion is not a topic that is suitable to be taught, discussed or practiced within the public school system. Puritans in England did not want to follow the Protestant Church, so they left to find free land where they can have religious freedom. Puritan laws were immoral. If someone did not follow the Puritans ways, they would be mistreated and segregated from everyone else in society. There was period in time where not everyone had equal rights. Women never had the same equal rights as men did. Suffragists suffered the most when fighting for their rights. The fight for women’s rights first began in Seneca Falls. Women’s beliefs that political rights would lead to equal opportunity, were overshadowed by the reality that their inequality resulted in their lack of influence within politics. Their gender continues to play a role in how society will view them, as well as their position. Today, women are still not given the same equal rights as men. America still has yet to see a women rise to occupy the position of being the president of the United States. Overall, America has not made political progress in reaching its goal of becoming a “city upon a hill”.

The U.S did not make enough social progress in becoming “a city upon a hill”. America was supposedly found by the “great” Christopher Columbus and the conquistadors. Most people view Christopher Columbus as the hero and the founding father of America. Many people have overlooked that statement and have realized the truth. Christopher Columbus and the conquistadors invaded the land of the Natives and turned them into slaves. They were treated like animals and were constantly tortured by the conquistadors. Columbus and many others raped, killed, and whipped the Native Americans. The conquistadors carried a vital disease from Europe which eradicated most of the Native American population. Is this what a city upon a hill looks like? Due to slavery, blacks received no rights for many centuries. The blacks were treated as if they were animals. If they performed an action that the owner did not like, they were whipped until the backs turned bloody and scars were seen. These scars allowed to blacks to remember what the whites did to them forever. It wasn’t until the Brown v. Education Court Case when Blacks finally received almost all of their rights, but disparity still continued.

In present-day America, Winthrop’s vision isn’t very significant in the American mindset. Yes, America supports the thought of being seen as an industrial role model, but all people in America do not care about the little things, such as the Puritans did, in order to build the nation. One thing that Americans must understand is that “the eyes of the people are upon us. “ Often, people in America let religious beliefs, race and/or wealth build a barrier between themselves and others. Those whose skin color differs from others are often degraded. Those who are less fortunate are often overlooked. Throughout history, the United States of America did not make economic, social, and political progress in reaching its goal of becoming a “city upon a hill”. Perhaps if people reach out to share and distinguish similarities with others and overlook the opportunity to get ahead, America would be a city elevated upon a mountain.

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