Equality and freedom are two of the most important values in America. Equality is to have equal opportunities and rights in life and freedom is to be able to make independent decisions or have different ideas. Many laws have been passed for these values which have affected citizens greatly in their lives. Because of the laws passed, more races and people have had less discrimination and more equal opportunities. So, to be an American is to strive for equality and be free.
Equality has been a major hurdle to overcome throughout America’s history. Earlier in our history, blacks were afraid of whites due to the gap of rights between them and the harsh consequences of angering them. However, since then, many of our documents and laws ranging from the Declaration of Independence to the Equality Act are focused on having equal rights for more types of people. The Declaration of Independence reads that, “ …all men are created equal…”(US 1776) and in the Equality Act, it states that, “It is the purpose of this Act to expand as well as clarify, confirm and create greater consistency in the protections and remedies against discrimination on the basis of all covered characteristics…” (Cong., sec 2). These show that equality is a goal the nation has been striving to achieve since gaining independence and that many steps have already been taken for it.
Freedom has been another area of focus. Many of our documents and laws, like equality, have been directed at this. For example, the 13th Amendment is focused on making slaves free. Because of this, it led them to become citizens and have the right to vote too. Having the right to vote meant that they now had the power to help elect a representative. Freedom also plays into the role of what we can and cannot do. In the first amendment, freedom of speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly are given. Because new amendments are so hard to pass, being that ⅔ of the House and Senate must agree and ¾ of the States, shows how important freedom is to the country and the people, especially since the authors thought freedom was so important that they listed many in the first amendment created.
Equality and freedom are important values and are present every day in America. These have helped construct the society known today. Without them, the nation would discriminate unfairly against other people. Overall, these two values have shaped what it means to be an American and society.
Cicilline, David, Equality Act, 2019
Lincoln, Abraham, 13th Amendment, 1865
Jefferson, Thomas, Declaration of Independence, 1776
James Madison, Bill of Rights, 1791