close

Public lectures

Are All Men Created Equal? The history of inequality in the United States

The promise that «all men are created equal» is perhaps the most cited phrase to evidence what makes the United States special.
Date

Mi. 01.02.2023
Mi. 14.12.2022

Time

18:15 - 19:45

Speaker

Prof. Dr. Suzanne Enzerink

Location

University of St.Gallen, Room A 23-102
Hauptgebäude
9000 St. Gallen
mapShow location on Maze Map
chevron_rightRoute with Google Maps

Price

Calendar

file_downloadDownload Ical file

Cultural History of Americas

The promise that «all men are created equal» is perhaps the most cited phrase to evidence what makes the United States special. First codified in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the phrase remains an important reference point for politicians even today to explain what sets the U.S. apart and to justify why the country has assumed such an important role in the world.

This lecture will take the Declaration of Independence as a starting point to investigate thematically for whom equality has not materialized despite this foundational promise. Together, we will look at who was not included, why not, and what this can tell us about U.S. democracy writ large. Women, for example, only earned the right to vote in 1920. Native Americans were displaced from their ancestral lands «en masse».

The legacies of slavery continue to define the U.S. racial landscape today. Using many primary documents – from Supreme Court rulings to speeches by Martin Luther King Jr, from Andrew Carnegie's tract on wealth to contemporary housing policies – we will investigate why the American Dream in reality has only been attainable for a select few.

north