Past and Present
Edited By Marcin Grabowski, Krystof Kozák and György Tóth
How the U.S. Supreme Court Reinforces Divisions in American Society
There is hardly any country in the world in which the government has referred so often in different historical periods to the necessity of unity. The United States of America was created in order to implement a republican system of government with more social participation in the process of governance, as thirteen colonies transformed into states united under the confederate and later federal government. In crises, this government would often emphasize the necessity of unity against a common enemy, i.e. the British (1812), the Mexicans (1846), the Spanish (1898), the Central Powers (WWI), the Axis Powers (WWII), the Reds (1920s & Cold War era), and terrorists (9/11 and beyond), often using national security arguments as justification of concrete actions. Furthermore, symbols of unity such as the U.S. flag, the Constitution, the presidency, or the concept of freedom have been referred to during these times, with T-shirts saying United We Stand serving as the modern way of showing affinity to the values shared by U.S. society as a whole. The process of shaping American social relations had also been difficult because, since the beginning of American statehood, ethnic, cultural, religious, and political differences among immigrants and U.S. citizens hampered the integration of certain groups living in the same neighborhoods. Therefore, U.S. government institutions played a key role in spreading the notion of unity through certain policies initiated throughout U.S. history. One such institution was the U.S. Supreme Court, serving as the leader of the third branch of government, the...
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