Inventing Equality

Reconstructing the Constitution in the Aftermath of the Civil War by Michael Bellesiles

  • Published: Sep 02, 2020

The evolution of the battle for true equality in America seen through the men, ideas, and politics behind the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments passed at the end of the Civil War. On July 4, 1852, Frederick Douglass stood in front of a crowd in Rochester, New... read more

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Details of Inventing Equality

Exact title of the book
Inventing Equality
Book author
Michael Bellesiles
ISBN
9781250096180
Publisher
St. Martin's Publishing Group
Published
Oct 20, 2020
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
1
File size (in PDF)
9 kB

Some brief overview of book

The evolution of the battle for true equality in America seen through the men, ideas, and politics behind the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments passed at the end of the Civil War. On July 4, 1852, Frederick Douglass stood in front of a crowd in Rochester, New York, and asked, "What to the slave is the Fourth of July?" The audience had invited him to speak on the day celebrating freedom, and had expected him to offer a hopeful message about America; instead, hed offered back to them their own hypocrisy. How could the Constitution defend both freedom and slavery?

How could it celebrate liberty with one hand while withdrawing it with another? Theirs was a country which promoted and even celebrated inequality. From the very beginning, American history can be seen as a battle to reconcile the large gap between Americas stated ideals and the reality of its republic.

Its struggle is not one of steady progress toward greater freedom and equality, but rather for every step forward there is a step taken in a different direction. In Inventing Equality, Michael A. Bellesiles traces the evolution of the battle for true equalitythe stories of those fighting forward, to expand the working definition of what it means to be an American citizenfrom the Revolution through the late nineteenth century.

He identifies the systemic flaws in the Constitution, and explores through the role of the Supreme Court and three Constitutional amendmentsthe 13th, 14th, and 15ththe ways in which equality and inequality waxed and waned over the decades.

About author

BELLESILES, once a visiting professor at Trinity College in Connecticut and a professor of history at Emory University, is the author of numerous books on American historyincluding 1877 and A Peoples History of the U. S. Military.

Bellesiles received his BA from the University of CaliforniaSanta Cruz and his PhD from the University of California at Irvine. He lives in Connecticut.

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