The Aristocracy & Government

Essay by vinni119College, Undergraduate January 2004

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Throughout history, the aristocracy has dominated many forms of government. More money has always meant more power and control over the common man, who worked and toiled to gain a place in the aristocratic society. But what determined who was of the upper class and who wallowed in the working class? If you owned land, you probably owned people, chained to the land by debt. Those that owned the land were royalty, knights and dukes under the king, with a structured and high-class society with constant balls and extravagant affairs, while the poor worked the land. During the great class struggle of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal..." In theory, the idea that all men are created equal seems good enough, but the status of a man's parents instantly becomes his own the second he's born.

A child looks at the world as a place full of wonder and mystery, with no idea of how the master differs from his butler. The master's son plays happily with the housekeeper's daughter, until each is molded into his or her own social status and the two playmates are split apart. The master's son is taken away to be taught how to act according to the rest of the upper class, and the housekeeper's daughter is taught how to do chores. All along they were classified, and unequal. With one doing the other's chores, how could there be any equality? When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he himself owned slaves, who were expected to act with respect and distinction in Jefferson's presence, but with their peers, could act as crudely as they pleased. If there were no classes, what would stop them from behaving...