Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

On July 4, 1776 America gained freedom from Great Britain. An assembly of five men wrote the Declaration of Independence to acquire the freedom we have today: Not being England. The Declaration has a structure of an introduction, a statement of ideals about government, a long list of grievances against the British, and a Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. The four ideals: consent of governed, equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the right to alter or abolish, are the foundation of our government. Equality is the most important of the ideals and the reason our government is so successful to this day.

Today, our equal rights give us the same opportunities as our neighbors. We have the right to vote, go to school to receive an education, the freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, freedom of religion, and many other rights that stand to give Americans equality across any gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation. Not only does the Declaration give us equality it also gives us unalienable rights, the right to alter or abolish government, consent, and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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The idea of equality in 1776 was most associated with rich, white, American males. Our government has changed so much since then that equality affiliates with both men and women alike. “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal.” (Declaration of Sentiments) Women and men stated this at the Declaration of Sentiments in Seneca Falls in New York during the year of 1948. Today in 2018 women and men have the right to vote, get an education, and have successful careers. The 260 women and 40 men present at Seneca Falls protested for these equal opportunities for both men and women (Document A).

Our equality cannot be achieved without liberty. Andrew Sullivan stated, “I believe in Liberty. I believe that within every soul lies the ability to reach for its own good.” (Document B) Sullivan stated that everyone has the equal opportunity to find good and happiness. Although he believed of the journey in the pursuit of happiness, he did not believe in totally achieving full happiness in life, but the freedom to try and achieve this happiness through liberty.

In modern day America, equality is present throughout every walk of life. Though some races or religions may be treated as minorities, there are many people trying to ensure total equality throughout our country. Sadly, some other countries, such as Yemen, don’t have the equality we are privileged with. According to Business Insider, Yemen has no women in parliament and has never had a female head of state. The laws do not mandate equal pay, and women only have partial access to financial services. Without equality, not every American would have access to the right to alter or abolish government, consent, or life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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