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American Freedom


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American Freedom History
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Since the year 1863, Americans have for a long time defined freedom as a battle that was required to be fought in order for the American ideal and moral justice to be preserved. The struggle for freedom in America was enriched with events that are essential for the shaping of the history of America. On the issue of the struggle for freedom, America has been at war with itself as well as with others. Martin Luther King Junior wrote “letter from Birmingham Jail” at a time he was fighting the battle on freedom in 1963. He wrote this letter as a response to some of his critics. He also noticed that there were injustices in America against the population composed of African Americans (Foner, 2005)
Anne Moody reveals how impoverished her life was as an African American due to injustices brought about due to lack of freedom. She would take beans for dinner and survived on only one shoe. All of this was due to the fact that her mother never had a decent job. Her last words in her context of coming to age, “I wonder. I really wonder” clearly portray the war on freedom she was going through. America faced a lot of problems during period such as, voting rights, political participation, freedom of expression, and inflation of goods. Many of these problems resulted in rioting and also boycotting of goods. Freedom of political participation was hindered, in that, one had to qualify in terms of property to be declared legible to vote (Foner, 2005). For example, an adult male was required to own fifty acres of land to vote. That implies that only the rich and the middle-class decided the type of leaders to elect. It was due to these reasons and the fact that freedom was under attack that she became an activist.
The term freedom has taken on many definitions throughout history. The term itself keep changing and is based on society on which it is applied hence there is no set definition for the word freedom. The manner or the way freedom is defined under the context of The American Revolution can be explained on political line. The issue of political participation; It is quite clear that during the American Revolution only the rich and the middle-class were privileged with the freedom to elect new leaders of their choice (Foner, 2012). Those privileged included the whites since most black people in the society were slaves. Also, women were denied the right to vote. In this context, it is clear that the society viewed freedom as the males and the whites being given more freedom than others. The civil war which took place between 1861 and 1865 also altered the meaning of freedom in a dramatic way. Slavery at this time was at its peak and Americans never considered it not freedom to possess an African as a property, after all, the constitution of America had not declared them Americans. However, after many legislative bills, they were finally given the freedom (Foner, 2012).
In the making of the constitution, it was previously thought, that the concept of freedom was only limited to the power of the state and what they considered to be right or wrong. The amendments and the bill of rights made the people realize that they can make the power of the government so limited thus portraying a new ability of being free. Religion now was intercepted as a personal matter in which the government had absolutely zero power to influence or affect. In simpler words, religion was a form of freedom. America has always been defined by freedom. This idea of freedom has captured Americans in a great way. It was the root and driving force of every war that was there in history.
Foner, E. (2005). Voices of freedom: a documentary history. New York: W.W. Norton.
Foner, E. (2012). Give me liberty! An American history (Seagull third Ed.). New York: W.W. Norton.

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