Essay on The Great Seal Of The United States

1167 Words Jun 20th, 2015 null Page
On the back of each dollar bill in circulation, the Great Seal of the United States appears. Made up of two symbols; one, an eagle clutching a scroll, olive branch, and arrows; the other, an unfinished pyramid with an all seeing eye. In Gordon Wood’s The American Revolution, he rhetorically asks, “how many Americans today know what the pyramid and eye on the Great Seal mean” (99). While most Americans today may look past these icons, both sides of the Great Seal signify the distinctly American thought of a constitution being a work in progress laid upon a strong foundation. The motto featured on the eagle’s scrolls states, E pluribus Unum, translated “out of many, one.” This view is a clear indication of the American colonists belief that a government must derive power and be formed by its citizenry rather than its citizenry be conformed to a government and thus subject to that government’s tyranny. Likewise, the unfinished pyramid gives credence to the notion that a constitution need not be complete in a sense, cover every nuisance, but rather it must provide a strong foundation on which to build a structure capable of withstanding enumerable years of sun and storm. In the 1760’s Americans viewed a constitution as deriving power from the people through true representation within the government; this view that authority comes from the people was evident in colonial efforts to resist oppressive actions of England, and was also shown when the colonies were first free to create…

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