Natural Rights And Their Protection In The Constitution Sample College Essay

A primary goal of the U.S. Constitution, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, is to protect people’s natural rights. The main three natural rights introduced by John Locke that are applicable to everyone are “life, liberty and property.” In the United States Declaration of Independence, the concept of natural rights is represented by the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” (“Declaration of Independence: A transcription,” 2022). The idea behind natural rights is that all people are naturally created to be equal and, thus, possess equal “inalienable” rights (“Declaration of Independence: A transcription,” 2022). Those rights are God-given and cannot be violated or taken away by anyone else. The right to life is one’s right to be born and live, and no one must harm another person’s life. The right of liberty is the right to do anything that does not harm another person’s life, liberty, and property. Writing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson decided to substitute the right of property for the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, the right to the pursuit of happiness is a right to possess one’s self, well-being, and freedom of opportunity to experience happiness. The main goal of the government should be to protect people’s natural rights, and people, for their part, should obey the ruler’s laws. If the government abuses those rights and neglects them, people are able to resist, abolish or alter the existing political system. Thomas Jefferson used this concept in the creation of the Virginia Declaration of Independence as well.

Natural rights are protected by the 13th and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution. These amendments were adopted in succession after the Civil War and are one of the most fundamental amendments adopted after the Bill of Rights. The 13th amendment was a consequence of the Civil War and prohibited slavery anywhere on the territory of the United States of America. In section 1 of the 13th amendment, it is stated: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (U.S. Congress, n.d., Amendment XIII, Section 1). This amendment ensures the protection of the right of liberty, and since its adoption, the states cannot institute slavery upon individuals. The ratification of the 13th amendment resulted in the passing of the Black Codes in a number of Southern states, which encouraged and enforced racial segregation and African Americans’ imprisonment and servitude. After the 13th amendment was adopted, people of color had to face a similar issue once more. Therefore, there was a need to come up with an alternative solution to protect people’s natural rights.

Consequently, on July 9, 1868, the 14th amendment was ratified, which extended formerly enslaved people’s right to liberty. As it is written in Section 1 of the 14th amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Congress, n.d., Amendment XIV, Section 1). This amendment enabled the prohibition of the Black Codes and other similar documents that deprived people of color of their rights of “life, liberty, and property.” These changes were fundamental in protecting and ensuring the natural rights of all citizens of the United States.

In conclusion, natural rights are the rights given to people by the God and cannot be taken away either by the government or any individual. The rights of “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” are stated in the U.S. Constitution as “inalienable” rights and protected by the government. A number of amendments, including the Bill of Rights, protect and ensure people’s natural rights.

References

Declaration of Independence: A transcription. (2022). National Archives.

U.S. Congress. (n.d.). The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. SHEC: Resources for Teachers.

The Role Of Gilets Jaunes In French Politics

The yellow vest movement (gilets jaunes) appeared as a reaction to the reforms of Emmanuel Macron. At first, the protests started as a working and middle-class movement against green fuel taxes (Cigainero, 2018). However, the more people supported the movement, the more demand they had. Hence, some wanted a raise in the current minimum wage and to dissolve the National Assembly to hold new elections. Even though the protest presented themselves as neither left nor right, according to Driscoll, they “Do not identify with parties or nationalism, and they accept the reality of climate change” (2022, 6). Nevertheless, their ideology was based on rejecting the president’s reforms, and the later protests had Communist flags and anti-capitalist chants. Both parties supported the vests, the far-right of Marine Le Pen and the far-left of Jean-Luc Mélencho, but neither became leading in the process.

The rise of far-right supporters emerged due to gilets jaunes, considering the latest elections of 2022 when La Pen gained 41.46% against 33.9% in 2017. It proves that the ratio of social populism changed, and the far-right groups might become more active with the support of parties. As a functional result of the protests, the drop in fuel tax was achieved after Le Grand Debat National and Le Vrai Debat (Driscoll, 2021). However, the immediate success of the yellow vests is the influence on Marcon’s reformist policy. His party suffers a decline in the party ID and a loss of the assembly majority (Bale, 2017). It is evident by the failure of his alliance to keep the absolute majority in the voting of the French National Assembly, meaning that the change in the political system of France is inevitable due to the changing social view that began with the gilets jaunes.

References

Bale, T. (2017) European politics: A comparative introduction. Palgrave.

Cigainero, J. (2018). Who are France’s yellow vest protesters, and what do they want? NPR.

Driscoll, D. (2022). Populism and carbon tax justice: The yellow vest movement in France, Social Problems, 1-21.

Is Corn Potentially Harmful For Human Consumption?

Introduction

The United States has the highest corn consumption in the world today. Although a bigger portion of corn is used for biofuels and animal feeds, research indicates that an average American consumes around 1500 pounds of corn annually (Pendarvis and Crawley 180). Due to its rapid growth and low production cost, the crop, which was initially used as a vegetable, has become a basic ingredient in almost all food products in the country. Corn is used in sodas, salad dressings, potato chips, hamburgers, breakfast cereals, French fries, and baked goods. As a result, the widespread use of corn in food products has sparked a considerable debate on its health impacts. On one side, the corn proponents argue that it has critical nutritional benefits, while the opponents insist that it adversely impacts consumers’ health. Corn is not detrimental to consumers’ health; rather, it has high nutritional values and protects against chronic diseases.

Arguments Supporting Corn Consumption

Corn has considerably high nutritional values, which are essential to consumers. It is an important source of carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, minerals, and dietary fibre. According to Johnson and Taylor, “All corn types are rich in dietary fibre vitamins (A, B, E, and K), minerals (magnesium, potassium and phosphorous), phenolic acids and flavonoids, plant sterols and other phytochemicals” (114). Some reports indicate that corn has more proteins than other vegetables making it a preferable choice for vegans and vegetarians or other consumers seeking to get proteins from non-animal sources (Prasanthi et al. 1083). Therefore, corn provides a healthy balanced diet and makes consumers fuller for an extended period. As a result, corn is a critical food source, particularly among the low-income earners, when consumed in moderation.

Corn consumption protects consumers against the risk of developing various ailments. Research indicates that eating corn or its derived products may lower the cases of chronic illnesses such as obesity, cardiopulmonary complications, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes (Johnson and Taylor 113). The health benefits have been linked to antioxidants which are present in corn. Antioxidants combat the impacts of free radicals in the body responsible for causing the development of chronic ailments and ageing. Research indicates that corn also contains carotenoids which are health-promoting elements (Johnson and Taylor 113). In addition, according to Demeter et al., minerals found in corn, such as potassium, magnesium, and zinc, “Play an important role in metabolism, skin protection, and bone and tooth health” (1). Similarly, corn contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which have anti-inflammatory impacts on the human body and safeguard against diseases like the Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD and cardiovascular complications (Demeter 1). This proves that corn is functional food that protects consumer health.

Corn is a nutraceutical food that helps in the management of chronic disorders. A study indicates that apart from safeguarding consumers against long-term illnesses, corn can also be included in the treatment process. For example, high-amylose resistant type 2 starches found in corn acts as a prebiotic, effective in treating obesity, particularly among postmenopausal women (Amanullah and Shah 33). In addition, according to Amanullah and Shah, “Studies have shown that the consumption of resistant starch contained in corn improves insulin sensitivity in humans” (38). Furthermore, the study also shows that anthocyanins found in purple corn have proved effective in balancing the abnormal angiogenesis linked to diabetic nephropathy. Therefore, antioxidants, phenolic, anthocyanins, and bioactive peptides in corn improve its therapeutic properties critical in managing prolonged diseases. Moreover, corn enhances an individual’s digestive tract and protects it against digestive complications (Johnson and Taylor 113). This is because, since corn has dietary fibre, it significantly improves consumers’ digestion.

Arguments Against Corn Consumption

Corn contains high sugar levels making it detrimental to human health. Studies indicate that a substantial section of the United States population consumes corn as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweetener added to beverages. HFCS has been linked to diabetes, obesity, liver complications, and cardiovascular disorders. The levels of fructose in HFCS are exceedingly high compared to the glucose content. While glucose can easily be absorbed in the body, fructose is not effectively absorbed. A long-term buildup of fructose in the body causes weight gain resulting in obesity (Insel 168). Excessive intake of HFCS has also been linked with insulin resistance which causes type 2 diabetes. In addition, according to DeChristopher et al., “Increased coronary heart disease risk may, in part, be due to the high fructose-to-glucose ratio in the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in soda and fruit drinks” (2). Based on the study, the fructose to glucose levels in many beverages has exceeded the safe levels triggering fructose malabsorption which increases the propensity for heart diseases. Therefore, it is apparent that the fructose levels in HFCS pose adverse health effects.

Most corn crops are genetically modified (GM), posing adverse effects to consumers. Over the years, corn has become one of the most GM crops in the United in the effort to increase the yields and enhance resistance to pests and diseases. The consumption of modified corn has created concerns among nutritionists, with some linking such products to negative impacts on health. This is due to the belief that the consumption of modified foods may transfer toxicity, allergies, and antibiotic resistance to consumers (Delaney et al. 364). Therefore, some people are convinced that since corn is grown with chemicals, the pesticide residue may be ingested by people and animals. Even though the residue levels may be in small amounts, with time, such chemicals may build up and trigger adverse changes in the body resulting in various complications. Hence, GM corn may cause several health issues due to the transfer of toxicity from the crop to the consumer’s body.

Rebuttal

Corn contains natural sugars comparable to other starchy foods, which cannot affect a consumer’s health if moderated. There is a growing misconception that corn and HFCS are the same. However, corn is a grain made of starch, while the HFCS is a sugar that has been processed, leading to high fructose levels. Corn has considerably low amounts of fructose compared to HFCS. Similarly, according to Insel et al., “There is no concrete evidence indicating that HFCS within a calorie-controlled diet will cause significant health problems” (168). Based on this study, individuals who consume high levels of HFCS have an increased likelihood of gaining more weight than those whose intake is low. This proves that HFCS does not adversely impact consumers’ health if well moderated. Therefore, the claim that HFCS may cause obesity, diabetes, or heart diseases may be misguided because there is no direct link between the sugar and health complications.

There is no evidence that genetically modified crops are unfit for humans. Studies indicate that modified crops do not pose any threat to consumer health. Such crops also have similar nutritional values to non-modified ones. According to Delaney et al., “The work conducted to date has identified no evidence of adverse health or nutritional effects from commercially available genetically engineered crops or the foods obtained from them” (362). The study emphasizes that all GM crops undergo a rigorous process to determine their safety and any potential threat to human health before they are approved. Similarly, regarding the notion that corn has pesticide residue that can affect consumer health, research indicates that the kernel, the edible part of a con, contains significantly low residue levels. On the contrary, high levels of pesticide residue are found in the husk and silk parts of a corn plant (Yajima et al. 57). Therefore, even though corn is a modified crop, it does not threaten consumer health.

Conclusion

Corn is not detrimental to consumers’ health; instead, it has several nutritional and health benefits. Corn contains slightly higher starch than other foods, which may cause weight gain if not well moderated. However, it is very nutritious because it contains carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and vitamins and hence offers a balanced diet, particularly to economically disadvantaged consumers. Despite the concerns that corn’s high sugars pose adverse health impacts to individuals, research shows that apart from preventing chronic diseases, the food can also be used to treat such ailments. Additionally, the belief that modified crops have harmful effects on consumers is unsubstantiated. Therefore, it is a consumer’s choice whether they want to include corn in their diet. In this case, individuals who wish to lessen their carbohydrate intake should avoid corn. Nevertheless, since many products contain corn, consumers should always check the ingredient labels before making a purchase.

Works Cited

Amanullah, Khan, and Shah Fahad, eds. Corn: Production and Human Health in Changing Climate. IntechOpen, 2018.

DeChristopher, Luanne R. et al. “High Fructose Corn Syrup, Excess-Free-Fructose, and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Among African Americans– The Jackson Heart Study.” BMC Nutrition, vol 6, no. 70, 2020, pp. 1-15.

Delaney, Bryan et al. “Food and Feed Safety of Genetically Engineered Food Crops.” Toxicological Sciences, vol 162, no. 2, 2017, pp. 361-371.

Demeter, Cintia et al. “Analysis of the Content Values Of Sweet Maize (Zea Mays L. Convar Saccharata Koern) In Precision Farming.” Agronomy, vol 11, no. 12, 2021, pp. 1-15.

Insel, Paul, et al. Nutrition. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2022.

Johnson, Jodee, and Taylor C. Wallace, eds. Whole Grains and Their Bioactives: Composition and Health. John Wiley & Sons, 2019.

Pendarvis, Murray P., and John L. Crawley. Exploring Biology in the Laboratory. Morton Publishing Company, 2018.

Prasanthi, P. S. et al. “Compositional Variability of Nutrients and Phytochemicals in Corn After Processing.” Journal of Food Science and Technology, vol 54, no. 5, 2017, pp. 1080-1090.

Yajima, Tomonari et al. “Influence of Various Parts of Sweet Corn Ears on Pesticide Residue Levels.” Journal of Pesticide Science, vol 42, no. 2, 2017, pp. 52-57.

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