January 20, 2009

Emancipation Proclamation Breaths to Life

The oath taking ceremony of Barack Obama, as the 44th President of United State of America is going to take place today that is January 20, 2009. I am writing this in India at 7.49 pm in way to feel the history as it breaths to life. I remember that it was Lincoln who spoke what latter became as Emancipation Proclamation. It read that on first day of 1863 all persons held as slaves in areas in rebellion against the United States were to be then, thenceforward and forever free.

The slaves mentioned in there were African Americans. However, nothing changed for them. In 1865, there took place the Amendment XIII which read, “Section 1, Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall existed within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Then came the Article XIV adopted in 1868. It read, “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to ay person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives Shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of person in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of Electors for President and Vice-President of the Unites States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a State, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty one years of age and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or Elector of President and vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officers of any State, support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in the insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States, or any claim for the loss of emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations, and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Finally Article XV was adopted in 1870.
It read, “Section 1. The right of citizens of the Unites States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, colour, or previous condition of servitude.

The above mentioned terms and vision has been nurtured further by the blood of Martin Luther King. However, finally, today, it has starting breathing.

It is for the Europe to see that the democratic principles and the human rights as envisaged by them are made to work in North America. It is for Islamic world to see that if there is to be fight then it should be against the divisions based on colour, race, and place of origin.

However, I believe this is again a stage in gradual revelation of thought through man in nature. The process will continue and United State will soon bring in female President. It will be the final Emancipation and culmination of Abolitionism.

I love my country Bharat. I am proud to be an Indian. I admire United States of America for the achievement which she has shown now in the 21st century.

Sources used: Bailyn, Davis, Donald, Thomas, Wiebe, Wood, The Great Republic: A History of the American People, Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. New Delhi.

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