The American Evolution of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

America has undergone both civil rights and civil liberty evolution over centuries as a way of taking care of the diverse interests of her citizens. According to the American constitution, civil liberties can be interpreted as the acts of protecting an American citizen from the actions of the government. For instance, a citizen has the free will to indulge in any religious practice without government interference according to the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.  On the contrary, civil rights target the actions of the government. The American government has the responsibility to ensure that all her members enjoy equal rights and opportunities. It has to take appropriate measures that will ensure the harmonious living of the diverse groups of people in all the American states. More specifically, the constitutional Bill of Right was passed to protect the minority groups by gender, sexual orientation, and race.

Before the amendment of the constitution in 1791, the government had much power and author over the citizens. Freedom of speech was a thing of the past. However, the amendment brought the Bills of Rights into effect giving the citizens the freedom to express themselves with less fear of government prejudice. However, the constitution put more emphasis on civil liberty as compared to civil rights. The law failed to acknowledge equality for women and the minority groups. It was until in 1954 that the oppressed groups pushed for constitutional amendments on the bill of rights. The likes of Martin Luther King drove for the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Jackson p.42). During the same period, women interests were represented to the government by women leaders who demanded equal opportunities as men thus leading to their acknowledgment.

It was through demonstrations and boycotts that America has become a fair and just society while it comprises of people with diverse interests. According to the Fourteenth Amendment, each person is entitled to equal chances of law protection by their state. However, it is only applicable to people who are within the state’s jurisdiction (Richards p.120). The state, therefore, has the mandate to protect the citizens within their jurisdiction. It is a clear indication that the constitution has gradually acknowledged civil rights thus regulating government power.

In my opinion, the government has done an excellent job of protecting both its citizens and the governing bodies through the constitutional laws. It is clear that the nation has remained focused in ensuring sex, racial, gender, and employment and education equality among her citizens. The people with disability, children and women have an upper hand in the constitution. However, it does not mean that the government has reached its limit. The constitution still needs to be amended so as to clarify the roles of the federal governments in ensuring equality among people within their jurisdictions. The constitution, in general, needs to be simplified to avoid misinterpretations.

Conclusively, the evolution of the civil liberties and civil rights is the main reason the citizens of America enjoy independence. The citizens are protected by the laws from cases that may undermine their dignity and freedom. It is through the evolution of the American constitution that equity is observed on employment and homosexuals have a voice in the society. Nevertheless, the government has a task of ensuring that the constitution is simplified and clarified to avoid different interpretations that may stir conflicts.

American Wastefulness

It is a well-known fact that Americans consume so far most of the natural resources and they live less sustainably than people from other large countries across the globe. A report from Sierra Club’s Dave Tilford states that a child born in the U.S is likely to create thirteen times more ecological damage in his or her lifetime as compared to a child born in Brazil.   It also says that an average American drains as many resources as 35 residents in India and consumes 53 times more goods and services than a native of China. Tilford also cites statistics showing how Americans have been using and abusing natural resources. An example between the years 1990 and 1989, the population tripled while the use of raw material increased by a factor of 17. With less than five percent of the globe’s population, it uses a third of the world’s paper, 23 percent of coal, 19 percent of copper, 27 percent of Aluminum and a quarter of the world’s oil. He also states that America’s use of metals, minerals, forest products, energy, food products and fresh water also dwarfs that of persons living in developing worlds. U.S is ranked among the highest consumer in the various categories. Its fossil fuel consumption is double that of a resident in Great Britain and two and a half times for a native in Japan. In terms of creation of the world’s global waste, America creates half of it yet Americans account for only five percent of the globe’s total population. Many Americans prefer use of private automobile rather than public transportation. Statistics show that compared to a country like China, very few Americans walk or use bikes to their destinations. As China becomes the world’s leader in consumption of commodities like copper, U.S. remains the per capita leader in consumption of most resources.

U.S. is the only industrialized country that is still experiencing a significant growth of population, meaning that the high rate of resource consumption is expected to increase. Hence in the next 30 years, it will have a significant impact on the country’s resources. In the case of the use of fossil fuels, America heavily relies on fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal. The dependence is quite costly to everyday citizens since a lot of money is used in importing fossil fuels and this will have a negative impact on the country’s economy.  Burning of fossil fuels causes damage to the environment, causing an increase in air and water pollution. It will increase global warming which will have an inflict on other factors like decreasing rainfalls and rise in temperature that can combine to cause massive and extended drought conditions in some regions. There will be a negative impact on peoples’ health due to increased heat- related diseases and vector-borne diseases.

To reduce wastage of natural resources, the federal government, together with the states, must take action to reduce the wastage. For the case of fossil fuels, the government can propose the production and use of clean energy which never runs out. Since the U.S has this ability to produce it, it will help the citizens to use energy more efficiently. The government should also reduce the nation’s global warming pollutant emissions so as to reduce the hazardous impacts of global warming. It can also develop a clean transportation infrastructure so as to improve fuel economy of vehicles, and reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuel.