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The Ineptitude of the United States

Uploaded by Admin on Mar 26, 2000

"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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Those are the opening lines to the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776. Yet, slavery continued in the United States for nearly ninety years after this document declared that "all men where created equal," and those "unalienable rights" are still not shared by everyone in the United States. The U.S. has been lacking in its responsibility to its citizens. The state responsibility for human and civil rights must be expanded in the United States. In December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The thirty articles of the UDHR were developed to provide a clear definition of human rights. It then became the responsibility of the states of the United Nations to protect those rights. This is where the United States is lacking. The U.S. is one of the founding nations of the United Nations and one of the most influential, yet it has failed to take adequate state responsibility for human rights. Before the ineptitude of the United States can be discussed, the concept of state responsibility for human and civil rights must be clearly defined. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines state as "a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory," and responsibility as "moral, legal, or mental accountability." These definitions of state and responsibility can be interpreted and combined to provide a literal definition of state responsibility. The definition of state responsibility could then be seen as "the moral and legal accountability of a government." A concise notion of state responsibility for human and civil rights would then be congruent to "the moral and legal accountability of government for life, liberty, security, and any other finite right of a person." With the concept of state responsibility for human and civil rights having been defined, the extent of state responsibility in the United States can be discussed. Rhonda Copelon once noted, "…the most limited conception of state responsibility [in the United States] has been essentially dismantled." Copelon also made a statement to the effect that rights in the U.S. are limited to constraints on government and that they do not reach private conduct or include the most basic social and economic...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   03/26/2000

Category:   Politics

Length:   5 pages (1,162 words)

Views:   1657

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