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“City on the hill” by John Winthrop

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    John Winthrop delivered a speech, in 1630, to his followers. The speech John Winthrop had brought upon his followers, is famously known for the phrase “a city on a hill,” meaning that the Massachusetts Bay Colony would rise to a point to be an example to the entire world. A city on a hill can be described as an idea to invoke just and ethical morals such as a model for freedom, and equal rights for everyone to be treated as equals. America has been in numerous turmoil events about who gets to have rights and who does not, who gets to be treated as a human, and who gets discriminated against by the color of their skin. Underrepresented people want to have a voice, and want to act for a better future, they do this by making movements. Numerous events have occurred throughout the years 1865 to the present day such as the Progressive Era, American Eugenics Movement, and the Civil Rights Movement.

    The Progressive Era arose to drive a cluster of reform movements that were directly caused by urbanization and industrialization. This movement sought to correct injustices in American life during the industrial era by making social improvements and changing subtle political ideas, or views. The goals that the Progressive reformers strived for were to improve child labor, worker safety, and public health. This era was also known as progress toward a better society. Throughout the process of this era, the life of workers and consumers working in factories had improved. These are actions society needs to be taking to show an example to the rest of the world that we need healthy working conditions and equal rights in and out of the workforce.

    The Eugenics Movement was “to improve the physical, and mental qualities of human genetics” to create the “perfect” America. This movement was focused on genetically promoting selective breeding for “positive” traits. Their approach to making America “perfect” is not the most vibrant idea. In 1883, Francis Galton came up with the term “eugenics,” to “improve humanity by encouraging the ablest and healthiest people to have more children.” Even if this may seem to be a virtuous idea to improve the quality of life in America; this isolates the people who are considered poor, and uneducated, and the minority population who have “undesirable” traits. This movement rebuttals the idea of being morally equal. A certain group of people should not be discriminated against just because they have traits that are “unwanted.” Movements are supposed to help people, not cut people out of their social experiment because they are not a part of the “desirable” population. Although this movement had moral intentions that were aimed at improving genetic quality and playing an important role in the history and culture of the United States these intentions then evolved to be immoral ones.

    African Americans created an organization called the civil rights movement to end racial discrimination and grant them equal rights. The Civil Rights Movement is a term to fulfill the political, social, and economic rights that African Americans are nonviolently protesting. Abolitionists focused to improve the quality of life for African Americans ever since racial injustice had struck at the beginning of time. This movement is heading to the right step in how “city on a hill” set an example of how morals need to be. The right mindset to have is that every person is equal. The Civil Rights Movement took a step to earn African Americans the rights that they deserve.

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    “City on the hill” by John Winthrop. (2022, May 15). Retrieved from

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