The history of America is filled with stories of triumphs and struggles, but it is also littered with lies and deceit. From the very beginning, America’s foundation was built on a lie – the lie that all men are created equal.
This statement was written in the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson in 1776.
The Lie of Equality
Although this statement has been celebrated as a cornerstone of American democracy, it is also one of the biggest lies in American history. At the time this statement was written, slavery was still legal in America, and women had no rights.
This means that not all men were considered equal at all. It wasn’t until almost a century later that slavery was abolished and women were given the right to vote.
The Lie of Manifest Destiny
Another lie that has been perpetuated throughout American history is the idea of manifest destiny. This belief stated that it was America’s destiny to expand its territory from coast to coast and even beyond. It was used to justify the annexation of Texas, war with Mexico, and the forced removal of Native Americans from their land.
The Trail of Tears
One example of this forced removal is known as the Trail of Tears. In 1838, President Andrew Jackson signed The Indian Removal Act which authorized him to remove Native Americans from their land in Georgia and relocate them to Oklahoma. The journey was treacherous and deadly with over 4,000 Cherokee Indians dying along the way.
The Lie of “Separate but Equal”
Another significant lie in American history is “separate but equal.” This doctrine allowed for segregation between races as long as both parties were given equal treatment under the law, which they rarely were. Facilities for black people were subpar compared to those for white people, and this segregation led to a long history of discrimination and violence against black people in America.
The Lie of “Weapons of Mass Destruction”
In more recent history, the lie of weapons of mass destruction was used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Bush administration claimed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which posed a threat to the United States and its allies. However, no such weapons were ever found, and the invasion was widely criticized as unjustified.
The Importance of Acknowledging Lies in History
It is important to acknowledge these lies in American history because they have had a profound impact on our society today. The repercussions of slavery and segregation are still felt by black Americans, and the trauma caused by forced relocation is still felt by Native Americans. Acknowledging these lies can help us move forward as a society towards true equality and justice for all.
The biggest lie in American history may be up for debate, but there is no denying that America’s past is riddled with falsehoods that have shaped our society today. It is only by acknowledging these lies that we can move forward towards a more just future.