Essay on Analaysis of the American Way

1458 Words 6 Pages
No matter how liberty and freedom are defined, America and its people have always prided itself on being founded on their principles. Looking back at the founding of America , slavery, Civil War, emancipation, reconstruction, and the times following all the way through today I would say everyone should ask, is liberty truly the American Way?
Since I have not yet taken American History 1, I had to look outside this week’s readings to review the Monroe Doctrine and “Manifest Destiny” that lead to some of the attitudes and events covered. In 1823 in the Monroe Doctrine, America essentially told Europe and other powers in the eastern hemisphere hands off the western hemisphere. Lands in the western hemisphere would either become part of the
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These problems with people and the suppression of freedom were not confined to the frontier but the south and north as well.
In the south, African Americans were technically free but the 1896 case of Plessey vs. Ferguson established legal segregation. Worse than segregation were the lynchings. In 1898, Ida B. Wells- Barnett wrote, “ Mr. President , the colored citizens of this country in general, and Chicago in particular, desire to respectfully urge that some action be taken by you the chief magistrate of this great nation……..For nearly twenty years lynching crimes, which stand side by side with Armenian and Cuban outrages, have been committed and permitted by this Christian nation.” (Wells- Barnett) The north was plagued with discrimination against Slavic and Italian immigrants. While American born citizens moved into management and skilled labor jobs new immigrants were given less skilled work many times based on discrimination rather than qualifications.
Both the racism already prevalent in American and nationalism led America to not only seeking to expand in the west but overseas. As with “Manifest Destiny” Americans felt the obligation to right the wrongs of not just on this continent but in world and the western hemisphere in particular. Governor Teddy Roosevelt in an excerpt from The Strenuous Life said, “I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease but the doctrine of the