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date: 19 June 2021

p. 766. Equalitylocked

p. 766. Equalitylocked

  • David J. Bodenhamer


Equality was not an explicit core value of the Constitution, nor was it a basic condition of republican governments. The framers, living in a world based on class distinctions, rejected hereditary aristocracy, but casually accepted the idea of a natural aristocracy based on merit. Political equality was an animating force of the Revolution, although this condition applied primarily to white, property-owning men. ‘Equality’ outlines the three Amendments adopted between 1865 and 1870 that ended slavery, made state citizenship a consequence of national citizenship, and designated African-American men as political equals. It also describes the women’s movement of the 1920s, the aftermath of World War II, and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

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