The Declaration of Independence states "that all men are created equal." What did the Founders mean by "all men?" How have Constitutional amendments, federal laws and the courts expanded or contracted Americans' civil rights over time? Provide.
examples to back up what you say. Discuss one controversy during the past ten years over civil rights, presenting both sides of the argument.
American's civil rights is defined as the equality of all men regardless of their demographic, gender, sexuality, and economic status under the law. However when the Declaration of Independence was constructed, "All men" generally meant white, free, and literate. Basically the founders of the declaration of independence would have identified themselves as "all men." Also the men includes those who owned property. Because of these characteristics these men were deserving of equality in the country. .
However, the definition became broader as decades went by the The Dred Scott vs. Sanford case was the premise of the contraction of civil rights. The Supreme Court ruled that since Dred Scott was an African-American, he could not rule against the court. Basically even if he was free in another state, he was a slave and thus a non-citizen. .
This controversy led to the civil war and resulted in the ratification of the 13th amendment, abolishing slavery. The 13th amendment expanded civil rights because it gave African-Americans much freedom and made them less inferior to their white counterparts. The 14th amendment continued on with the constitutional phrase "that all Men are created equal." Now based on this amendment the "all men" means all people who were born in the country. It basically states that the state cannot deprive you from your rights regardless of who you are. The 15th amendment gave more rights to people of color but only males were allowed to vote. Equality was not reached yet.