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Leading Figures in American History - Essay Example

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Leading Figures in American History

Benjamin Rush - Monticello, Sep. 23, 1800) perfectly reveal his visionary ideas. He believed in an ever changing society, in the power of every new generation to make better laws, better constitutions, he believed in a form of progress which can only become possible if the man has the freedom of thinking and expressing ideas. If he came to our century he would realize that he had given America an identity and drafted the individuality of this nation. The Declaration has been the foundation on which his descendents continue to build the dream.
Benjamin Franklin was acknowledged by many writers as a "versatile genius "as he had notable achievements in many areas. He was prolific not only in writing, but also in science, as he invented The Franklin stove, bifocals, a flexible catheter and the lightning rod. As a statesman and politician he is known as the only person who signed three major documents in the American history: the Declaration of Independence, the peace treaty with Britain, and the Constitution. He would proudly read his ideas and principles in today's Constitution, the most important book in the American legislation, to the writing of which he actively participated almost 250 years ago.
Frederick Douglass, another remarkable figure in the American history, once said: "What was possible for me is possible for you. Do not think because you are colored you cannot accomplish anythingSo long as you remain in ignorance, so long will you fail to command the respect of your fellow men." He was a freethinker who really believed in the power of knowledge and fought for equal rights among all people, becoming a leader in the abolitionist movement and the first black citizen who hold a high rank in the American government. The present would offer him his envisioned perspective of this nation, where the Afro-Americans have equal rights, and unlimited, in any form, possibilities in the actual emancipated society.
Abraham Lincoln had a difficult task to accomplish in leading the country through the Civil War. "With malice toward none, with charity for all" (Second Inaugural Address, Mar.4, 1865), he led his fight for the abolition of slavery. He spoke the words later, but they had been living in his dream long before they were expressed. Were he able to join us today, he would see a united nation, the greatest power in the world, who adopted his beliefs and struggles to act accordingly, by giving fair opportunities to all his people.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton dedicated her life to the constant fight for women's rights especially for the right to vote. Gifted with a brilliant mind she had to suffer because she was born in a time when women had no right to receive proper education and had no political power. She struggled to put an end to this unjust situation, but unfortunately she died before her dream came true. Nevertheless, it did come true, 20 years after her death, and nowadays, America has a new, moral and ethical face to show to this brave freethinker. Her fight was not in vain, the American women won their right to express themselves not only in politics but in all other existing areas.
These were the promoters of the freedom of thinking, they put the basis of a country where racial, sexual and religious discriminations no longer exist. Devoted to their dream, they would see it come true if the time machine drove them to the present, because ...Show more

Summary

America is gifted with an outstanding historical legacy which makes us understand the influences that have shaped the American Dream and made us what we are today. Great political leaders, had a huge impact on the development of the country, and changed the existence and mentality of people at their time and afterwards.
Author : minervaschaden
Leading Figures in American History essay example
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