America's Promise: The Promises of Independence (Essay Sample)
Your paper should make an argument and use evidence to support that argument. Your paper will be graded based on its argument, evidence, and writing.
“America was promises,” wrote poet Archibald MacLeish in 1939. On the one hand, Americans have long insisted that their nation is built on promises such as freedom and equality; on the other hand, they have also criticized their nation for falling short of its promise. These two strands of thought—asserting that the nation embodies noble purposes, and simultaneously criticizing it for failing to attain its goals, or even engaging in outright hypocrisy by willfully violating its precepts—have often been twinned in American thought.
Analyze one of the following documents. What claims does it make for America's promise or opportunity? How does it criticize the nation for failing to attain its goals?
John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity http://winthropsociety.com/doc_charity.php
Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/what-to-the-slave-is-the-fourth-of-july/
The Promises of Independence
The attainment of American independence presented numerous promises and opportunities to its citizens. The biggest reason that led to the vast dedication by African Americans to fight for the country’s Independence was the promise of freedom and a better life, away from slavery. The African Americas believed that the source of their slavery was derived from the rule of the British colonial masters, and by attaining independence, slavery would come to an end and the blacks would live healthier and better lives like the white Americans (Teaching American History.Org, 2006). The end of British rule presented greater opportunities for freedom for the black slaves who had suffered a lot in the hands of the colonial masters. The urge to attain freedom increased the dedication by the blacks to lose their lives for a better future for the coming generations. During the colonial rule, most Americans believed that the English style of leadership was not the best for the country, since most of the resources benefited England. Thus, the attainment of independence implied a brighter future, characterized by rapid economic growth where all members of the society regardless of race, would be happy to be the contributors. However, the black Americans stood to be the highest beneficiaries of the independence as they would regain most of their undermined freedom. The oppression that the blacks underwent in the hands of the British made them angry, thus seeking remedies to end the oppressions. Independence to the country presented a promise of no oppression on the American people, since they would enjoy equal rights away from the oppressors’ authority (The Heritage Foundation, 2011).
The country’s population stood at just above three million people; an implication that, attained independence would present enormous opportunities for all since wealth would be shared equally, considering that all individuals regardless of race were equal. The country had numerous resources, large tracks of land and other opportunities which all entirely promised a better life for all the citizens. The sacrifices made by the forefathers in fighting for freedom depicted love for the country over self-interest, a virtue that demanded respect. The lack of self-interest by the nation's founders promised a great sense of unity, togetherness and a national development spirit centered on the liberty that was fought for (Teaching American History.Org, 2006).
Despite the smaller population, the freedom fighters proved that it takes unity and not numbers or military resources to defeat an enemy. A great indication that continued unity, the country had a brighter future characterized by social, economic and political success in an inclusive society. At independence, the sovereignty of the people was respected as characterized by the republic aspect; having managed to stand as a democracy contrary to the expectation of many and based on historical occurrences, America presented a great hope to its people to be a stable and prosperous state in the future. In 1789, America was the only vast republic in the world compared to other countries that were just a handful of small city states. Miraculously, the country thrived as a democracy, unlike previo...
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