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A more perfect Union From the Declaration of American Indipendence to a famous Obama’s speech through the defeat of segregationism.

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Presentation on theme: "A more perfect Union From the Declaration of American Indipendence to a famous Obama’s speech through the defeat of segregationism."— Presentation transcript:

1 A more perfect Union From the Declaration of American Indipendence to a famous Obama’s speech through the defeat of segregationism

2 The meaning of CLIL Content Language Integrated Learning the approach to learning is focused on content the English language is the tool used to convey the content So, don’t be shy even if you are not so confident in your English skills

3 THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA In Congress, July 4, 1776, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

4 Students’ activities the students will be divided into teams (no more than 5 students for each team)

5 Questions after reading Find the answers to these questions What is the political bond that connects a people with another one? In their words, what is their position among the Powers of the earth? Why do they feel they should justify their decision to break those bonds?

6 what’s the meaning? Find a synonymous for bond assume entitle decent

7 THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 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. That, to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.

8 taken from Two treatises of government by John Locke The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges everyone, and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in their life, health, liberty or possessions (TT II, 6)

9 Students’ activities

10 Compare the last two texts Try to find similarities and differences between the two texts

11 Compare the two texts 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. That, to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges everyone, and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in their life, health, liberty or possessions (TT II, 6)

12 Students’ activities We have to understand what does “liberty” and “pursuit of happiness” mean not as abstract concepts but as concrete facts. Imagine a situation in which you have to explain these two concepts to a person who doesn’t know anything about them, in particular doesn’t know their meanings in a political context. How could you make these two concepts more concrete? So the task is: Describe a case, a situation useful to understand better what kind of things are implied by these two concepts.

13 Students’ activities The Declaration says that a government has to secure these unalienable rights. In which ways could a government secure them? A government has to take its power from the consent of the governed. It means all the governed? In which way can the governed express their consent? To answer to these questions think about the preeminence of the legislative power and the representative system

14 What about equality? The new system of government emphasized the rights of individuals. American leaders based the federal government on popular sovereignty and they agreed to follow this written constitution that guaranteed individual liberties such as freedom of speech, of the press, and of religion. They did not grant political and legal equality to all inhabitants of the newly independent land. They accorded full rights only to men of property, withholding them from landless men, women, slaves, and indigenous peoples.

15 THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA That, whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. This is «the Right of Resistance»

16 THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

17 THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

18 taken from Two treatises of government by John Locke The end of government is the good of mankind; and which is the best for mankind, that the people should be always exposed to the boundless will of tyranny, or that the rulers should be sometimes liable to be opposed, when they grow exorbitant in the use of their power?[….]Not let anyone say that mischief can arise from hence as often as it shall please a busy head or turbulent spirit to desire the alteration of the government. [...] For till the mischief be grown general, and the ill designs of the rulers become visible, or their attempts sensible to the greater part, the people, who are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance, are not apt to stir (TT II, 230)

19 THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF AMERICA The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

20 taken from Two treatises of government by John Locke For the end why people entered into society being to be preserved one entire, free, independent society to be governed by its own laws, this is lost whenever they are given up into the power of another (TT II, 217)

21 going back to the equality problem The racial segregation after the American Civil War ( )

22 the problem of racial segregation Court case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954 Issue: is the race-based segregation of children into “separate but equal” public schools constitutional? Facts: Several black children (through their legal representatives) sought admission to public schools that required or permitted segregation based on race. The plaintiffs alleged that segregation was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

23 the problem of racial segregation Holding and Rule: The key holding of the Court was that, even if segregated black and white schools were of equal quality in facilities and teachers, segregation by itself was harmful to black students and unconstitutional. They found that a significant psychological and social disadvantage was given to black children from the nature of segregation itself. This aspect was vital because the question was not whether the schools were "equal", but whether the doctrine of separate was constitutional. The justices answered with a strong "no“:

24 the Court’s ruling Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does... Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to retard the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially integrated school system... We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly [...] are deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

25 Educational Segregation prior to Brown v Board of Education

26 Reacting to Brown Among Whites, many in the North and West saw the Court’s holding as positive. Conversely, white southern leaders and southern newspapers loudly and angrily denounced the decision. Consider the May 18, 1954, editorial in the Jackson, Miss., Daily News: Human blood may stain Southern soil in many places because of this decision, but the dark red stains of that blood will be on the marble steps of the United States Supreme Court building. White and Negro children in the same schools will lead to miscegenation. Miscegenation leads to mixed marriages and mixed marriages lead to the mongrelization of the human race..

27 Dr. Martin Luther King’ speech I Have a dream August 28, 1963

28 I have a dream I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.“ (August 28, 1963)

29 The Civil Right Act The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public ("public accommodations"). Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who would later sign the landmark Voting Rights Act into law.

30 President Lyndon B. Johnson's Remarks upon signing the Civil Rights Bill July 2, 1964

31 «A Union that should be perfected over time» "A More Perfect Union" is the name of a speech delivered by Senator Barack Obama on March 18, 2008 in the course of the contest for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

32 Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech

33 the text of the speech “ We the people, in order to form a more perfect union." Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations. Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution — a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

34 the text of the speech And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part — through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk — to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time. This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign — to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together — unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction — towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

35 the text of the speech This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story. I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners — an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts — that out of many, we are truly one.

36 Students activity Choose a sentence of the Obama speech which, in your opinion, is more representative of the equality issue and try to give a reason of your choice


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