Give Me Liberty Research

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

The United States’ government was established with the premise that liberty had to be protected and preserved by tyrant forces seeking to impose their will on individual citizens. During the declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson described liberty as “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because the law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. ” In layman’s language, liberty refers to a state of being free from oppressive restrictions imposed on people’s behaviour, political views or way of life by an authority. In legal terms, liberty is usually defined as a person’s right to exercise the rights they are entitled to by the constitution or natural law.

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Over the next decade and into the 20th century, the United States would experience dramatic growth regarding territory and economic and military power and as it benefited from relative calm both domestically and internationally. The History of America in the 20th century is mainly defined by its involvement in the Second World War and the cold war with the Soviet Union that led to its rise to become the world superpower. The American economy also continued to prosper despite the setbacks of the great depression. Women’s rights movements and the civil rights movement are also two important legacies of the 20th century American history. The 21st-century American society so far has also been marked by several events with the main one being the September 11th terrorist attacks and the subsequent war on terror on foreign soil.

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The issue of civil liberty has always been an issue in the United States since the colonial era because of the racial and ethnic diversity of the country’s population. Civil liberties during the colonial era were dictated by the colonial masters who imposed their will on the white settlers, the indigenous red Indians, and the slaves. In the post-1887 America, civil liberties such as the right to life, liberty, property, speech, press, association and education were restricted for African Americans particularly in the southern states. Jim Craw is a well-known part of the history in America ‘southern states that seriously restricted the civil liberties for African Americans who were treated as second-class citizens. Even in the post-civil rights movement era to the present-day, there are still aspects of American society that have been pointed out to indicate that civil liberty is still a fallacy in America.

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Over the last fifty years, women and racial minorities including African Americans have increasingly been elected to leadership positions at local, state and federal level. The election of Obama as the first black president is perhaps the crowning moment, and an indication of the advancement America has made in strengthening political liberty in the country (Rawls 68). Economic Liberty Economic liberty implies the right of an individual to earn a living in the occupation of their choice without unnecessary government interference. For hundreds of years, this liberty has been a fundamental foundation of the American Dream that has over the years attracted hundreds of thousands of people from across the world to immigrate to America. The United States has prided itself as equal economic opportunity nation since it declared her independence over two hundred years ago.

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