Equality has been a concept that has been problematic for the United States from the beginning. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence boldly declared, "all men are created equal." But these same people who signed the document also thought that blacks should not be treated the same as whites. Thirteen years later the Constitution did not address equality because there was no agreement between the states about the status of the slaves. The tension between the Northern and Southern States over slavery finally erupted in the 1860's. A bloody Civil War tore throughout our country because of the disagreement in the treatment of blacks, who were used in the south as slaves.
Finally, after many years, blacks began to gain freedom. The first sign of progress was the Emancipation Proclamation, which was established in 1863. This guaranteed the freedom of all slaves in the states that were in rebellion. But the blacks were still not treated equally. It was not until 1868 when the 14th Amendment gave black Americans equal protection. Blacks were still not given full voting rights until the 15th and 24th Amendments, which were passed one century apart. These guaranteed the freedom of all black males to vote and abolished the poll tax.
Although our country is improving in the ideal of equality for all of
its citizens, we still have our problems. For instance, the concept
of comparable worth has not fully set in. Women do not get paid as
much as men for doing the same job. This illustrates how our
country still does not practice equality. Hopefully, in the near future,
everyone will have an equal chance.
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Jonathan, Mike, Dane, Billy
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