In 1866, the Supreme Curt struck down an ordinance in San Francisco that made the Chinese laundry businesses criminal (Sigler).
The true impact of the Fourteenth Amendment was not felt, however, until Brown vs. the Board of Education (1954), when the Court used the protection clause in the amendment to eliminate segregation in public schools (Finkleman).
By the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement would bring unprecedented attention to what to meant to be equal in America as blacks sought not only equal protection, but equal access to opportunities afforded to the white population. This expansion of who could be citizens of the United States and what equality meant is consistent with the premises of the Declaration of Independence. While the founders objected to the inclusion of Jeffersons condemnation of the slave trade as violating human natures most sacred rights of life and liberty, it is evident that by equality, the framers of the Declaration of Independence had in mind basic human rights of all people.
No government can guarantee its citizens equal wealth, health, or privilege, but it can guarantee that all of its citizens are treated equally under the laws of the nation and by the courts that enforce those laws. Thus, while America may not have yet, and may not ever achieve the founders ideal of equality, the nation has a history of constant legal, political, and social movement towards this standard. Perhaps this is the legacy of the Declaration of Independence: though its writers did not provide a concrete definition of equality or a detailed blueprint for creating it, their almost utopian conception of the new nation provided a noble standard to which America has and can continue to aspire. Works Cited Finkleman, Paul. Fourteenth Amendment. Civil Rights in the United States: 2 vols. Macmillan Reference USA, 2000.
Is it fair or just to create equality by allowing special rights or accommodations to certain groups or individuals? I think it is. The foundation for my position is simple: How can we have the same rights for everyone, when no one is the same? This past November, I watched a video in Social Studies class. The video was about equal rights, and focused on several situations where rules could be ...
Reproduced in History resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group 13 Feb. 2006 . Sigler, Jay A. The Origins and Limits of American Rights. Civil Rights In America: 1500 to the Present.
Gale research 1998. Reproduced In History resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group 13 Feb. 2006 ..