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Freedom for All?Term Paper

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Freedom vs. Greed

The author of this report has been asked to pen a report that relates to freedom, greed and the history of the United States. Perhaps the best example of greed is the colonialism of the 1600's thru the 1950's whereby the British, Spaniards, French and even the Americans basically bought or took the land that they wanted. Sometimes the Americans fought and won in a war such as against the Mexicans or the Spanish. Other times, they would buy the land but there are questions whether they paid the proper prices and whether the money went to the correct people. Indeed, the Indians alone are probably very incensed about the fact that the United States was formed and they were basically treated like victims, second-class citizens and so forth even when there was no fighting going on. Examples from the three books to be cited for this report will be included in what is about to be said. While the United States is far from evil, they did some things from their inception until 1950 or so that are extremely questionable and the greed that has happened since then in this country through events like Enron and such prove that people define their freedoms a little too loosely.

Analysis

Indeed, the Indians settled the new world long, long before the British came over or the Americans created their country just two hundred years ago and change. Indeed, the Indians came over here between fifteen thousand and sixty thousand years ago, which obviously predates the modern Americas and the associated people by thousands, if not tens of thousands, of years. For example, the societies that were pre-existing in North and South American included roads, trade networks and irrigation systems. Even if the Indians north of Mexico lacked literacy, metal tools, scientific knowledge necessary for long-distance navigation and so forth, they still very much existed and they were doing pretty well before "civilization" got here (Foner, 2012).

However, the Americans did take a bit of a better path when they truly seemed to want freedom, albeit their version of freedom and society rather than the British one. Indeed, both of them were in the place of the Indians that had controlled the lands for decades. The war "brought a basic deprivation of rights for many Americans" and many states required an oath of allegiance to the new nation. When the war ended, as many as one hundred thousand loyalists or so were banished from the United States or they emigrated out of the United States voluntarily. The revolution did not bring freedom to all people in the United States. Indeed, some "patriots" tried to argue that slavery for blacks made freedom possible and proper for whites. The British, even if they were much of the start of slavery in North America, were the beneficiary of one hundred thousand slaves that deserted their owners and went across the lines to the British. They lines were very gray indeed. Two different groups that both tried to or did enslave people were fighting for the loyalties of black people. Further, both groups were involved with fighting over control for land that was previously the property of the Indians but a personal definition of greed and freedom seemed to be on the minds of many (Foner, 2012).

When it came to freedom for all, some progress was made in the 1800's. Indeed, the Dorr War and some of its related aspects seemed to improve things for everyone but there were some sticking provisions. For example, there was property requirements for people in Rhode Island as of 1841. Property-less wage earners could not vote and this included many factory workers. This changed when there was a new state constitution signed and all white men could vote. The reformers elected Mr. Thomas Door as governor. Even with all of that progress, freedom and greed was reserved for one group and that was apparently non-black people. There was a racial democracy whereby blacks were still seen as a "group apart." Blacks were often portrayed based on stereotypes and so forth, hence the long-standing term that is called the Jim Crow laws and so forth. Blacks were not allowed to vote in most states. Race had replaced class as the boundary that separated American men that were allowed to engage in political freedom and American men that could not do so. Indeed, liberty is seen as power and this was something that black people were simply not allowed to experience and have. Indeed, greed and freedom were being wielded unequally and improperly in the United States well after its founding and even after the Civil War commenced and finished in the 1860's (Foner, 2012).

The Voices of Freedom book from Foner says much the same thing as what has already been said from the other source. There was a period from 1790 to 1815 that involved "securing the republic." There was the French Revolution, the address of the Democratic/Republican society in the area of Pennsylvania, there was trhe equality of the sexes argument in 1790, there was the mostly good parts of George Washington's farewell address in 1796, George Tucker and his treatise about Gabriel's rebellion in 1801, the Indian-related subject of Tecumseh on Indians and the land, the battle cry of war hawks in 1811 and the Religion and Virtue argument of Mercy Otis Warren in 1805 (Foner, 2005).

Later on, there were the sometimes inconsistent and weird actions that occurred in the run-up to the Industrial Revolution such as the Desire for Freedom as dictated by Frederick Douglas, the rise of the cotton Kingdom in the 1830's before the slave were free, the true results that were rendered in terms of greed and "freedom" even after there was a breakaway from the British, the letters of a fugitive slave and the confessions of one Nat Turner in 1831. Fast forward beyond any of what has been described before and there is the more modern discussion of globalization and its "discontents." There was the speech of Pat Buchanan to the Republican National Convention in 1992 (an election that the Republicans lost), the Bill Clinton speech in which he signed NAFTA, the declaration of global democracy in 1999, the Beijing Declaration for women in 1995 and the words of Puwat Charukamnoetkanok when it spoken what freedom is like for an immigrant (Foner, 2005).

Finally, there is the words of Nace when he speaks about how and why colonists were so apprehensive and concerned about corporations, monopolies and so forth. Of course, those entities absolutely came to power as the United States shifted from an agrarian society to that of an industrial one starting after when the Civil War ended in the 1860's. Indeed, looking at the fourth chapter of the Nace book, a few things became clear. There was a push back on the corporations and what they were gaining in light of what happened after the industrial revolution. This pushback came in the form of the New Deal. However, Nace says "corporate executives saw an opportunity to make headway in their private "war within a war" to defeat New Deal interference in the economy and align their interests with the country's aroused patriotic sentiments" (Nace, 2005).

Further, since World War II, there has been a basic attempt to link corporations with the basic "imagery" of American patriotism, thus basically saying that greed is good and it is the American way. In many ways and forms, the definitions and themes are more subtle but this is not always the case. For example, there was the examples of a "not-so-subtle campaign with the $600,000 deal between Philip Morris and the National Archives to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights in 1991 with a traveling exhibit that brought one of the original copies of the Bill of Rights to all 50 states." The motivation behind the campaign was ostensibly to say that corporations should be able to speak and act under the Constitution just like people and there are many that suggest that this is a bridge too far (Nace, 2005).

Conclusion

The point to be garnered from all of the above is that freedom and greed in this country are often, but not always, one and the same. It can be manifested from the government, from businesses, or from a combination of the two. The government has often sought to expand the land mass of the United States, at least further back in history, and this has often come at the expense of Indians, the people that are inhabiting the area and so forth. As long as it is "legal" and "above board," there is the sense that people can do and say what they wish in the name of making money and that making money is the patriotic thing to do. This is being said while the poor are being treated like dirt, many minorities in this country (black people in particular) have also been… [END OF PREVIEW]

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