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Essay

From revolutionary ideal to American reality

Supporters mobbed Barack Obama after a speech in St. Paul last year. His rise to the White House has validated the most literal meaning of the phrase ''that all men are created equal.'' Supporters mobbed Barack Obama after a speech in St. Paul last year. His rise to the White House has validated the most literal meaning of the phrase ''that all men are created equal.'' (CHRIS CARLSON/ASSOCIATED PRESS/FILE)
By Mark Feeney
Globe Staff / January 21, 2009

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The United States is unique among nations for beginning in abstraction. Other countries arose from some specific condition: tribal membership, geographic boundaries, a common language. America has its origins in nothing more (or less) than a set of principles - or as the Declaration of Independence calls them, "truths." (Full article: 776 words)

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