America The Myth Of Equality Essay Research — страница 2

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response to this letter is incredibly grating: “As to your extraordinary Code of Laws, I cannot but laugh. We have been told that our Struggle has loosened the bands of Government everywhere. That Children and Apprentices were disobedient – that schools and Colledges were grown turbulent – that Indians slighted their Guardians and Negros grew insolent to their Masters. But your letter was the first Intimation that another Tribe more numerous and powerful then all the rest were grown discontented” (Adams, 66). Adams goes further to say his wife’s ideas were a result of her “saucy” personality (Adams, 66). Not only was this “Founding Father” clearly sexist, but he also saw minority groups as lessors. This, however, is not taught in the history books. Popular

knowledge is that Adams devoted his life to politics, participating with distinction first in the revolutionary activities of Boston and Philadelphia, and later in the founding of the republic. At the time the Constitution was being analyzed for possible ratification, a set of published writings proved to be invaluable support toward the future framework for the American “democratic” governmental system. The Federalist Papers, written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, helped change the tide toward support for ratification. Although these individuals have been credited with the formation of this free and equal system for which America prides itself, one must question whether they had any alternative motives in forming this particular system. In Federalist

Paper No. 10, James Madison details his thoughts on how dangerous factions can be towards the future form of government. In actuality, Madison says that almost nothing is more important in this proposed system is, “its tendency to break and control the violence of faction” (Madison, 107). Later, in Madison’s Federalist No. 51, he describes how the Constitution’s separation of powers clauses are invaluable because it makes domination by such “factions” virtually impossible. Yet, whom is Madison depicting by the term “factions?” He writes in No. 10 that: “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of

other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community,” (Madison, 108). This is quite an ambiguous definition. However, if one were examines the backgrounds of those who wrote the Federalist Papers and of those who developed the Constitution, it is very clear who they were trying to protect the government from. Madison was born to a large slave-holding family in the estate of Montpelier, Virginia. After graduating from Princeton, he rose through the ranks of Virginian politics until he was selected to represent the state in the Continental Congress ( /madisonb.htm). Madison was no common vagrant. He was born into power, money, and a good education, which at the time, was the typical stereotype of the American politician. As a

result, it was the goals and aspirations of this group that were manifested in the initial American system. The factions that Madison concerns himself with were the population’s majority, otherwise known as the lesser classes. As a result, the establishment of division of power and checks and balances clauses would give the populace a lesser chance of gaining much authority over the already established aristocracy. If this is the case, why is America perceived to be relatively fair and equal today? Fortunately the early American politicians did develop framework to allow the Constitution to evolve, and combined with the political movements in both minority and women’s rights of the end of this century, much of this unjust stigma has been eliminated from the system. Still,

racial discrepancies in the courts occur more frequently then not, and the social makeup of American politicians continues to follow a predetermined “mold.” Is this a direct result of the discrepancies formed in the earlier stages of American history? It is hard for anyone to tell. What is indisputable is that the Declaration of Independence’s statement, “All men are created equal,” was far from the truth during early American history.