Were the founding fathers aware of the impact their words would have on the future? One of the rights afforded to all men in the Declaration of Independence is “… the pursuit of Happiness.”(Hancock). This deceptively simple phrase has played a vital role in shaping the society of the United States. In order to understand what the founding fathers intended to convey we would have to consider the cultural period. However, it is possible to understand their purpose through the following excerpt from the Declaration:
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. (Hancock)
The forefathers of this country began a fight for happiness, which has continued throughout this country’s history in various forms.
Life has changed significantly since the time of this country’s forefathers. The noble intentions they envisioned are now corrupted by the troubles of the world. Economic trends have started to lead society in a perilous direction, which could result in the degradation of human society. Aspects of modern society such as the views of money, the constant search for more money and possessions, and the influence of business upon government, are starting to guide society down a path of destruction.
Money has shown the ability to influence the happiness of various nations throughout history. Money maintains the balance in society through transactions. The resources available are partitioned among the population and money is used to provide a standard for value. The power of money was painfully evident in the United States during the Great Depression. As money became scarce there was a \ decrease in the quality of life for US citizens. Workers were not paid enough to satisfy their basic needs. Many lost their homes and were forced to live on the street or in slums. Businesses during the Great Depression struggled to survive and many were forced to close. Anyone who did not lose their home still worried about job security. Conditions during the Great Depression deepened the respect for money. Money was used responsibly to provide for ones needs instead of wants.
In recent years the respect of money has fallen and financial responsibility has been ignored. People have begun to lose sight of what they need and instead focus on satisfying their unnecessary desires. Money has become easier to obtain as economic conditions have improved. Now people act as if they can attain happiness through possessions. Individuals obsessively strive to accumulate more possessions than anyone else in a self-perpetuating race for supremacy. The things that brought happiness in past years are no longer sufficient. Aristotle described this trend when he wrote, “… mankind always act [sic] in order to obtain that which they think good.” Mankind strove to attain...