Culture and The Law: A Brief History, Followed Up With Personal Rhetoric

The modern United States of America derives from exploration for the sake of freedom and hope.  Notwithstanding the earlier exploits of the Vikings and the Portuguese, North America was initially settled by the Pilgrims.  They were seeking religious freedom from England and autonomy from Holland due to language barriers and laws, which contradicted their religious beliefs.  Since then, nearly all cultures have been represented within the current United States of America.  This has been a key component in shaping the state of our nation as well as the laws illustrated within.  Our culture of cultures has placed our nation where it stands today, and inspired the laws we have to cater to our idiosyncratic society.

Since the arrival of the Pilgrims in the early to mid 1600’s we have become a singular society in that, there is no nation on Earth like us.  Since that time, there have been massive  immigration movements coming in from all over the world.  Since the birth of the colonies and before, cultures have sought out a place to call “their own” and have created a multicultural society here in the United States.  Immigrants from Europe brought with them over 700,000 African slaves according to a census taken as early as 1790.  Westward expansion caused our country to continue to evolve.  This now includes a multitude of Native American, Central American, and even far-east Asian cultures within the umbrella of the United States of America.  There were a number of reasons why people flocked, or were forced into, North America to include resisting oppression, facing oppression, religious freedom, or merely to see more opportunities and better conditions.  Our varied cultures have created a one-of-a-kind nation, which subsequently requires laws in order to maintain economics, order, and harmony.

It is because of the diverse cultures within our nation, we have laws that set us apart.  For example, in many countries, governments are allowed to seize property for the good of the nation.  However we, as a culture, have been afforded the right to have nothing unlawfully seized via the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.  Even our military, those who choose to have their rights moderately infringed upon in order to do their duty in service of their nation, have had to have their own rendition of the law contained within the Manual For Courts-Martial and Rules For Military Evidence.  This is a pure example of how our diverse culture has effected the laws we have had to put into place in our society today.

Different cultures have evolved within our nation to create, what I dare to say is, the most diverse culture in the world.  This clearly illustrates the necessity for our nation to have laws to cater to the melting pot society we find ourselves in.  Patrick Delvin, a British lawyer, judge, and “Lord of Law,” tried to simplify this by eluding that the law should be used to impose societal norms.  Each year, our nation is evolving.  As I grow older, remembering the world as I grew up, I realize, this evolution requires new laws to be put into practice in order to maintain discipline and prevent unrest within our society.  This doesn’t mean we have a utopian society without unrest.  You all know I don’t believe that.  It simply means our culture has created a nation of its own with a desperate need for laws to manage the idiosyncrasies contained within it.

We have clearly made mistakes.  We all but eradicated Native American culture.  We held on to slavery much longer than we should have.  We have had our problems, but we do not need to hold on to them.  I do not believe our country needs to change that much.  I believe we, as a people, need to change more.  The constitution may be antiquated, but it contains sound principles when properly interpreted.  Do we need to carry guns into Wal-Mart for a societal experiment?  No.  Do we need to refuse peace officers a peak at our ID card or license because we have the right to do so?  No.  Do we need to deny respect and compliance to said peace officers when their duty is to ensure safety of all?  No.  Do we need to persecute one religion in order to be sensitive to another, thereby removing God from our nation?  No.  Can we live and let live…can we co-exist?  Of course.  The problem is, do we want to?  I do.


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