Is This The Country The Founders Envisioned?
Last updated 12/30/2020 at 4:52pm
Our founding fathers envisioned a nation with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In addition, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” They established the Constitution that created a government with a system of checks and balances between a legislative, executive and a judicial branch to divide power and protect the freedom of the people. In our nation’s infancy, these unalienable rights were not available to everyone. In fact, people of African American and Native American heritage, along with women of all ethnic backgrounds had one thing in common. Not only were they prevented from participation in government, but also from the unalienable rights we cherish today.
The United States of America is not the country our founding fathers envisioned. It is so much better. Thankfully, what they did have was the vision to create a government with a Constitution as a living document that has allowed the United States to evolve into one of the best nations in the world. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence created the cornerstone to what our freedom means to us as Americans and how we will continue to grow in the future. As George Washington stated, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.”
Our founding fathers could not have envisioned what the future would hold, but they ensured a system for our government that would allow for change and evolution. As a living document, the Constitution allows for the establishment of amendments so the government could evolve over time. In over 200 years, only 27 amendments have ever been created. The Bill of Rights and the subsequent amendments have continued to shape today’s America. They allowed for women’s suffrage, the abolishment of slavery, and also allowed young adults the right to vote beginning at the age of eighteen. Our nation was founded on the idea that change was inevitable. For better or worse, they made it possible for change and growth to happen.
Ultimately, our founding fathers’ vision was that America would be for a place of freedom. Not only freedom from Great Britain, but freedom from within our nation and our own government. The 10th amendment was created to ensure that the federal government could not overrule state rights. Along with freedom, they wanted democracy. This is “government by the people and for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln once said. Democracy is one of the ideals that makes America great. Although freedom and democracy were a vision of the founding fathers, what that looks like has evolved to a new level and is, again, continuing to grow and change.
Just like today’s politicians, our founding fathers had different views from one another. All of them had their individual vision of what they believed America should look like. There were discussions, disagreements and disputes. Our founders set an example for us to fiercely argue, but also communicate, work together, and find a solution to our problems. We may still be divided politically with different opinions and points of view, but it is because we all care deeply for our nation. Our founders wanted a country that could grow and improve. This is no different than the desires of today.
Over 200 years ago, the founding fathers could not have envisioned the wars we would fight, how the industrial revolution would impact daily life, or that we could even put people on the moon. Thankfully, they created a government that could move through time with us. As time moves forward, our vision moves forward. Our history impacts today and our vision today will impact the future. If liberty is like a plant, then with proper nurturing it will continue to grow today, tomorrow and in the future for the betterment of our nation.