The original colonists that came o North America in order to construct a new life made the treacherous Journey for one reason and one reason only- freedom. The Great Britain dictatorship forced its’ citizens into worshipping the same religion as their ruler. Anyone who tried to follow a different way of thinking was either arrested or put to death. No human should have to constantly live in fear and reticence. Colonists viewed the actions of Great Britain as wrong and unjust. They grew tired of being safe but yet not having the chance to live. The colonists’ thirst for freedom launched America into what it is today.
According to American essayist and social critic H. L. Mencken, “The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe”. Whereas this may be true in other countries around the world, the American people have proven throughout history that freedom was their one and only goal. As American evolved into its’ own free nation, many problems developed. Because of the harsh ruling that colonists barely escaped from, many people did not trust or admire the idea of a new government. They feared that their fight for freedom would perish if another leader took rule.
With this Cain 2 in mind, a group of men, referred to as the Founding Fathers of America, came together and created a document full of fair rules and procedures for the American government to follow. While writing the American Constitution, the thought of Just keeping the American people “safe” barely passed through their minds. They wanted freedom; freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom for every American to decide the path in which their precious life would follow. Yes, laws like creating a military to protect America’s people were established, but nowhere else in the U. S.
Constitution did the Founding Fathers refer to their only want as safety. Although America began to expand and grow under the Constitution, a major phenomenon began to flourish across American soil. Most citizens were handed safety on a daily basis, but only the people with snow-colored skin had absolute freedom. Because African Americans were looked down upon by the whites, over time they changed from being called human beings to property of whites. The act in which African Americans were sold like animals between white settlers in order to provide workers for their fields was called slavery.
Though white masters usually gave their slaves protection and a place to sleep, safety did not make up for the harsh labor conditions slaves were forced to battle through on a daily basis. In circumstances like these, Mencken is proven wrong by the suffering African American population. Their need for freedom drove America to fight against itself. Even in Africa, around the sass’s, people fought against their government and neighbors in order to stop the slavery acts that were still taking place years after America solved theirs.
Though, the slavery act that took place in America lasted for an extremely retracted time. Slaves’ bravery and thirst for freedom drove them to fight to their death. They threw safety and the little comfort they had away in order to gain absolute freedom for themselves and future generations. Cain 3 Throughout the years of fighting for freedom, many African Americans sacrificed their lives in order to gain complete freedom for all Americans. As slavery dispersed and segregation was introduced, a man named Martin Luther King Jar. Stepped up and fought for complete freedom.
Thousands of people seeking equality and freedom follow his movement to end segregation. In his famous speech “l Had A Dream”, he states “And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to Join hands and sing… “. He became an American sensation due to the fact that he did not settle for safety.
Instead, he put his life on the line for the freedom of future Americans, and in turn died for the freedom he so passionately seeded. H. L. Mencken quote is further disproved by the American culture itself. Our national anthem was written during the war that gave the Thirteen Colonies complete freedom to become their own colony. This poem describes how Americans laid down their lives in order to win freedom for their country. In the Star Spangled Banner (America’s National Anthem), it specifically states “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”.
American citizens do not proudly sing this in honor of being safe; no, they sing it to honor the bravery of our fellow ancestors who fought to give us the complete freedom that we live with today. Yes, safety is a major benefit our fearless ancestors won for us but no average human being would choose to give up all their human rights Just to be safe. To further prove this point, America is currently fighting in Afghanistan in order to win its’ peoples’ freedom. Most of Iraq’s citizens have shelter and government protection. Though, they have absolutely no freedom.
Women suffer daily in the hands of men due to this. They are considered property and any orders they are given must be followed out or they suffer extreme consequences. Cain 4 Animals have more freedom than women in Iraq; at least animals can roam where they please and eat what they wish. Most of these women are safe under the wings of the men in their families, but never once are they allowed to feel sunshine tickle their skin or feel their hair float and sway in the wind. They will never be allowed to fall in love and pig out on Ghettos and pizza.
Most will not ever get the chance to dance crazily in their pajamas while getting ready in the morning. No, most are forced into complete and utter silence and may not show any skin other than their eyes. They are forced into marriage with men they barely know and do not get to influence any part of their children’s lives. The life these women have to live is so utterly cruel and barbarous and the worst part is it probably will never change. America believes in freedom. Our ancestors did not Just accept safety; they pushed past with the will for freedom.
If this will had never stirred the hearts of many, America would never have come to be. It would probably still be a part of Great Britain; leading a life under harsh ruling and extreme punishments. Because of this, America honors freedom and hopes to spread it throughout countries around the world. The United States of America knows how painful the thirst for freedom is and how sating it can make life worth living. Anyone can be safe. The women in Iraq are not the only ones that are suffering in today’s society.
Millions of people across the world are living everyday life without the ability to speak out their own opinions or follow their beliefs. Whether or not these people have continuous safety, living life is a torturous and excruciatingly painful day-to-day action. That is not the way to life, constantly having to tread carefully with actions and words because one mishap could ruin everything. The American people prove that H. L. Mencken was utterly wrong in his statement towards valuing safety over freedom. Americans understand what it feels to be free and equal.