Michael A. Bellesiles
The concept of legal equality seemed an essential part of the nation’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But the nation’s new leaders immediately rejected equality as a meaningful concept, and the Constitution contained an inherent flaw that prevented its realization in law. That constitutional contradiction led directly to the Civil War, during which Americans grappled with and fought over the nature of human equality. The war taught hundreds of thousands of Americans renewed respect for equality before the law and led to the rewriting of the Constitution.
“The central task of education is to implant a will and a facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.”