2 -- Part 12: AMERICAN CITIZENS AND POLITICAL CULTURE
Having transitioned from subjecthood to citizenship does not mean that you have equal rights.
The principle clashed with prejudice.
The rights of citizenship were denied to Native Americans, to African Americans, and to women in this chapter.
The ideals of citizenship that were born during the founding are innovative and inspiring, but they were unavailable in practice to a large portion of the population for a hundred years.
It is normal to be appalled at the failure to practice the principles of equality they preached, and certainly that failure is appalling in light of today's values, but we should remember that the whole project of citizenship was new to the founders.
As the conferral of equal rights slowly becomes reality for all Americans, one of our tasks in this book will be to trace the evolving narratives and practice of American citizenship.
To see the empowerment of individual citizens as their ability to create and share their own narratives is enhanced by technology is a related task.
The harder it will be to shake off dominant narratives, the more possibilities there will be for them to create their own.
Explain the role of everyday citizens in the founding of the United States.
Let's revisit: What's at stake.
The existence of state militias and similar groups poses a troubling dilemma for the federal government, and groups like the Tea Partiers are even harder to deal with.
Those who goad the anger might not necessarily endorse it.
The violence at Trump rallies in 2016 was a case in point, and there are those out there, like McVeigh and the Bundys, who were profoundly alienated, disconnected people who bought into this militant anti-government line.
On the one hand, the purpose of government is to protect our rights, and on the other, the Constitution guarantees Americans freedom of speech and assembly.
The British government fell to the American colonies because of their monopoly on legitimate use of force.
If groups are allowed to resist or even attack the U.S. law enforcement, then they are considered "mini-governments," or competing centers of authority, and life for citizens becomes chaotic and dangerous.
The American system was designed to respond to the wishes of the American public.
Citizens can vote, run for office, change the laws, and amend the constitution.
The aim of permitting these legitimate ways of affecting American politics was to prevent the rise of groups that would promote and act toward violence.
Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is careful to point out that revolutions should only occur when there is no alternative course of action because the founders intended to create a society characterized by political stability.
Some militia members reject the idea of working through the system, as did McVeigh, and they consider themselves at war with the federal government.
The job of any government is to prevent all three activities.
The government seeks to control the activities of the militia groups, not the existence of them.
Government authority and the rights of individual citizens are at stake in challenges to the legitimacy of government.
It is difficult to reconcile the protection of individual rights with government authority.
In a democracy, we want to respect the rights of all citizens, but if a small number of individuals reject the rules of the game agreed on by the vast majority, we can lose this respect.
You need the tools to improve your study skills.
It is a good idea to read the primary sources of our history, as we discuss the Declaration of Independence in this chapter.
In the course of human events it is necessary for one person to take over the powers of the earth and the Laws of Nature from the political bands which have connected them with another.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Governments are instituted among Men, with their just powers from the consent of the governed, to secure these rights.
It is certain that Governments long established should not be changed for light and short term causes, and that mankind are more willing to suffer than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
When a long train of abuses and usurpations is pursued, it is their right to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
The patient sufferance of these Colonies has made it necessary for them to alter their former Systems of Government.
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all of which object to the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States.
Facts can be submitted to prove this.
The most necessary for the public good has been refused by him.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless they are suspended in their operation until his assent is obtained, and he has neglected to attend to them.
He refused to pass other Laws unless large districts of people gave up their Representation in the Legislature, a right formidable to tyrants only.
He has called the legislative bodies to places that were not comfortable and distant from the Public Records to make them comply with his measures.
Representative Houses have been dissolved multiple times for opposing his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time to allow others to be elected, because the Legislative Powers are incapable of Annihilation, and the State is exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without.
He tried to prevent the population of these States by obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He refused his assent to laws that established Judiciary Powers.
Judges are dependent on his Will for the duration of their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat their substance.
He has been with us in times of peace.
The Military is now independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
They declared themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases.
He declared us out of his protection and started a war against us.