The New Mount Rushmore: The «American Sisters» Monument

Subject: History
Pages: 3
Words: 828
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

The common desire for equality, diversity, and inclusivity has been one of the most valuable pursuits of the American nation. Today, a lot of previously suppressed groups have earned their validation in society with the help of courageous activists of the past. There is a perfect opportunity to commemorate their historical efforts in stone portraits on the new interpretation of Mount Rushmore. I believe the best representation of inclusive changes is women, who now share the same rights and the same powerful positions as men. That is why the monument I am proposing will be dedicated to powerful women who helped shape American history in the nineteenth century. It will be located on the Twin Sisters Mountain in Washington to symbolize sisterhood and the ultimate natural unity of all women. The name of the monument will correspond to the same idea: The American Sisters – women who made changes for their nation as their family. This paper will present three proposed candidates to be featured on the monument: Susan B. Antony, Dorothea Dix, and Harriet Tubman and explain their historical value.

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One of the most significant movements of the last two centuries is feminism, which originated as suffragism and encouraged a number of women to stand up for their rights. Susan B. Anthony was a national heroine who put a large part of her life’s efforts into fighting for women’s suffrage. Anthony started as abolition and temperance activist and, despite being refused to speak, formed the Women’s National Loyal League and the Woman’s New York State Temperance Society1. hese efforts alone made a valuable contribution to the self-identification of American women, but Anthony continued to work on new strategies to expand women’s rights. In 1872 she did a rebellious act of casting a vote, guided by the Fourteenth Amendment which considered women citizens of the US2. Although Anthony has been harassed and underestimated throughout her career and had not lived to the day when women were given the right to vote, she had inspired a number of other citizens to continue her actions. Her ultimate desire for equality had started a powerful movement, and she must be acknowledged for that in the new monument.

It is essential to realize that women were fighting not for their own rights alone but strived to protect other vulnerable social groups from violent exclusion. A striking example of that pursuit was Dorothea Dix, who started her activist career to establish equal education for men and women and proceeded to raise awareness and acceptance of mentally ill people. Dix observed the intolerable conditions of mental treatment throughout the country, witnessed the mentally disturbed persons kept in prisons and almost tormented, which inspired her to change multiple state laws to establish mental hospitals3. Dorothea Dix promoted recognition of the most valued jobs in society, teachers and nurses, while being a great social reformer. The changes she started when accepting the mentally ill as worthy people were among the first actions towards inclusivity in the history of the United States. That is why Dorothea Dix should be honored as an «American Sister» who gave lots of people the opportunity to be included in society.

Multiple contributions have already been made to the politicians who undermined racism and slavery. However, no one is better aware of the struggles of African-American people in the States as the slaves themselves, one of which was Harriet Tubman. This woman was born enslaved but had great courage to escape and conduct 70 more people through the Undeground Railroad4. Tubman’s persistence was strong enough for her to collaborate with the abolitionists and became the first woman in history to lead a major military operation. She consulted the troops so their attacks would be carefully planned and even earned to be called «General» by some abolitionist commanders5. She did all of that admirable military actions while remaining a black woman and a former slave. Tubman’s example of extraordinary bravery and determination fully represents what the desire for diversity meant for people like her. Since she remains an example of a strong fighter, she should be commemorated to show people of all origins who helped them become welcome in this country.

To summarize, I believe in the idea of creating a monument honoring three significant women from the history of the United States. The «American Sisters» monument can become an illustration of how social groups that used to be suppressed are now praised and respected. The suffragist and women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony would represent equality. Dorothea Dix, who promoted the acceptance of mentally ill people, would stand for inclusivity. Finally, a black and formerly enslaved abolition leader Harriet Tubman would be a symbol of equality. Three of those qualities will become a benchmark for the further development of the country; that is why it is crucial to support them through famous fighters of the past. This monument is a perfect symbol of what matters to the citizens of the United States.

Bibliography

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. «Susan B. Anthony’s Achievements». Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020.

—-. «Dorothea Dix». Encyclopedia Britannica, 2021.

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—-. «Harriet Tubman». Encyclopedia Britannica, 2021.

Footnotes

  1. Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia, «Susan B. Anthony’s Achievements», Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2020. Web.
  2. Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia, «Susan B. Anthony’s Achievements», para. 3
  3. Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia, «Dorothea Dix», Encyclopedia Britannica, 2021. Web.
  4. Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia, «Harriet Tubman», Encyclopedia Britannica, 2021. Web.
  5. Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia, «Harriet Tubman», para 4.