President Woodrow Wilson said “America is not so much distinguished by its wealth and power as by the fact that it was born with an ideal, a purpose to serve mankind.”
What is that Ideal
In the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln said, “Ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” The United States of America was established to be a better form of government than despots and dictators have to offer, a government created where the people rule, where everyone has certain rights, regardless of their race, religion, gender or social status.
History of The Ideals and Purpose
On July 4, 1776, thirteen colonies declared their independence from England, and adopted a written Declaration of Independence, stating: ..”all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The early documents that the United States of America was founded upon were the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The fundamental principles laid out in these historical papers are reminders of the Golden Rule, that of treating others the way we want to be treated.
On April 30, 1789, President George Washington, in his first inaugural address seemed to say that the government of the United States of America had to hold to the precepts of freedom it was set up with for its citizens to be happy. “There exits in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity.”
Washington knew the law of sowing and reaping, of doing right and being right, yielded great rewards. He believed that if the United States of America ever varied from its founding principles, it would fail as many other nations throughout history have failed.
Living Up To Those Founding Principles
About eighty years after George Washington spoke those words, the “all men are created equal” statement in the Declaration of Independence had to be resolved. After a bloody civil war, slavery would finally be ended and the United States of America would stay together.
Near the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln gave an impassioned plea for the nation and its worth. “It is not merely for today, but for all time to come, that we perpetuate for our children’s children that which we have enjoyed all our lives. The nation is worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.”
Ideals Worth Keeping
Today, as the United States of America fights global terrorism and attempts to bring democracy to other lands, the nation should be looked at as a model for the rest of the planet to follow.