Premium Essay

An American History of Freedom

In: Historical Events

Submitted By mutigers42
Words 1577
Pages 7
AnRachel Breuer
An American History of Freedom
Throughout history, the word “freedom” has taken on many definitions. After all, freedom is a relative concept in general. There is no one set definition, as the word itself changes over time and is based off the society in which the word is being applied. As Eric Foner points out, “The Story of American freedom is not simply a saga of a fixed set of rights to which one group after another has gained access, but a tale of debates, disagreements and struggles, with lots of bumps and wrong turns along the way.” Throughout our history, America has been through several wars and problems, each causing a change in its definition of freedom; helping form the free country that it is today.
Freedom has always been a topic in the American way of life. This does not mean however, that freedom has meant the same thing to all Americans at all points in time. In fact, over time, the focus of freedom has changed dramatically over time. During the American Revolution, soon-to-be Americans fought in the name of liberty and independence. Britain had always had a view of freedom as the submission to authority. When Americans arrived on the land, they realized this was no longer appropriate. Thomas Jefferson maid this clear as liberty was included as one of the “unalienable rights” in the Declaration of Independence. (http://www.dannyscl.net/academic/). The problem, however, is that the Declaration of Independence asserted that “all men are created equal.” While this sounds like true freedom, it distinctly leaves out the word woman. During this time, Women were all universally denied the right to vote despite the Declaration implying that all should be equal. Along with that, the Declaration clearly laid out property requirements in order to achieve the right to vote. At this time, large segments of the male population failed to meet...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Slavery to Freedom - African American History

...Slavery to Freedom – African American History Nimra Jilani Los Angles Harbor College History 012 Professor KJ Hitt April 28th 2012 [pic] Slavery to Freedom – African American History The first African American arrived in the North America as servants and worked under contract from sixteenth to nineteenth century. They were brought from Africa by European Traders. In the past they were known by many names such as Negroes, Blacks and Coloureds. The term Nigger was also used for the African Americans mostly in south. More than half of the population of the African American lived in the Southern States of the America. Slavery first began in the late 16th century When African Americans were brought to American Colonies, they were bought by white masters and they had to work on tobacco and cotton farms in the South. They were not paid anything for all their hard work and living conditions were terrible for them. Slave work was very difficult. Most African American women cooked, cleaned the house and raised the children of their white owners, where as the men were trained to become carpenter or masons but most of them remained to be farmers. Most of the African Americans lived in the South where the percentage of the slavery was at its extreme. The racism towards the African Americans was at its extreme. A very famous historian Karl Marx stated In Wage Labor and Capital, Written twelve years before the civil war that: “What is a negro......

Words: 1847 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

American Freedom

...American Freedom History Student Name Tutor Date 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......

Words: 675 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

What Does History Tells Us About the Politics of Race in the Contemporary United States

...What does history tells us about the politics of race in the contemporary United States? History tells us that African Americans were discriminated for many years in the United States, and today we celebrate the achievements that were fought for and gained. The marking of civil rights anniversaries are an important part of identity and represent a truly extraordinary shift in the American culture and politics (Romano, 2014). The politics of race has been a long fought fight for African Americans to achieve given rights like the right for voting, they celebrate this through anniversaries for remembrances of given occasions and for celebration. This is emphasized by the civil rights anniversary to show the history of struggle for freedom, to show racial progress and reconciliation in increasingly multi-racial society (Romano, 2014). History shows African Americans has been fighting for the achievement of equality and justice within the state and for possible peaceful changes within the system (Romano, 2014). This can be proved by the anniversary celebration as it represent the movements of struggle for civil rights and much attention given for ending the legal segregation over the economic justice demand. History even shows, how some given deaths of prominent people occurred who were in the race fighting for the freedom of achievement of their rights (Romano, 2014). The history of politics shows the achievements that have been achieved by the African Americans like the......

Words: 475 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Limits on Freedom

...American History up to 1875 Name Course Instructor Date American History up to 1875 The American history records tremendous changes that define the journey taken in shaping what the country looks like today. The Indian-European conflict was common in the 17th Century in the North America. The issue of slavery got intense and many Indians fell in the hands of the European. Slaves were mistreated, overworked, and tortured to an extent of them dying at the farms. The introduction of Christianity by the Europeans meant that the Indians had to do away with their old fashioned ways of worship. The Indians and the European immigrants had different religion and beliefs that had to be unified for a common existence. The interaction between people of different races, religions and beliefs has been a great aspect of the American history. It was until later in the 20th century that European exploration and colonization of America that brought change in how the Old and New Worlds interacted. The settlement of the Indians in America was a vital mark in the development of native culture. The Indians established their lifestyle blended with rich culture and religion. The Indians on the East Coast had a more civilized life and well-established trade systems. The first encounter between the Europeans and the native Indians took place in the 1500s.[1] The Europeans discovered America as they engaged in fishing of whales and other sea......

Words: 1833 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

What It Means to Be an Ameican

...to be an American? By: Savannah Shiveley For centuries of years the United States has been attracting immigrants from a variety of different countries, races, and religions to come live in a land full of freedom and opportunity. These people were looking for more than just rights and privileges. Their real desire was to become something that depicts pride and honor, an American. Being an American means much more than living in the United States. Along with the name come a number of different benefits such as, freedom of speech to express your own opinion, freedom of religion, and equality for all, including different sexes, races, religions and status. As Americans, we should be very proud of the privileges we have because many other countries are not fortunate enough to have all these freedoms. Our freedoms are what set Americans apart from other citizens and countries. Americans have the opportunity to acquire a good education and receive a satisfying career. Apart from some countries, American people of all different races and religions can live and work together because everyone is allowed an equal opportunity. As a people Americans are united with a sense of pride for our country. All Americans should be proud of what the United States has accomplished. Our country has become a major influence to other countries. It is rising to be one of the most developed, wealthy, and most advanced in the world. Another quality that unites all Americans is its......

Words: 485 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Importance Of The Master Narrative

...sisters and I would talk about certain aspects of history he was there listening to everything. This was around the same time that we were discussing censorship through school curriculum so I felt that if my little brother understood it then other children could too. When he was talking about this it sounded a lot like the class was learning from a hegemonic device. School is where kids are being taught the “history” of how America came to be a diverse country. Through the course Culture Power and School Knowledge, one can see that the “history” being taught through the Master Narrative is one-sided. The Master Narrative focuses on “history” that comes from the people who hold power therefore excluding the actual experiences of the people of color meaning that it is a hegemonic device. Being a...

Words: 1753 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

African Americans Civil Rights

...African Americans Journey to attain Equality and Civil Rights African Americans Journey to attain Equality and Civil Rights African-Americans have been fighting to end segregation and discrimination ever since slavery began. The “isolation” on which they endured to attain civil rights and equality was crucial at this point in time. In relationship to their work to end slavery, the technology, politics, military, culture, and society played a huge role. This role was persistent when African Americans were slaves and when they began to break free from being known as property. At times, the ending of isolation had resulted of periods of tension and struggle. African Americans have worked hard to end segregation through the non-violent strategies of sit-ins, boycotting, and their massive resistance to give in to their freedom (Bowles, 2011). The enduring fight and struggles to end racial discrimination plus attain equality and civil rights have, and will continue to be an ongoing battle for existing and future African-Americans. The strategies that African Americans used to end this discrimination have been influential and will be forever known in history as strong individuals because they endured beatings, were thought of as property, and had to fight for any type of rights but they still fought for freedom and against the injustice of slavery. The fight for slavery started many years before the first slaves came to the United States. The history of slavery in the United......

Words: 2546 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

The Reformation Movement

...The Reformation Movement Research Paper History 117 1. During the 1830s to the 1850s indicated a period when people were beginning to get a sense of reformation regarding American idealism of a democratic and free society. The core goal to end slavery became the central focus to a group known as abolitionists. Formed by a limited amount of men and women both white and black, the abolitionists came most from the North with hardly any from the South. The beliefs of the abolitionists to end slavery in the mid eighteen hundreds, came from not only their understanding of freedom and citizenship which meant equal rights for all persons regardless of their skin color or racial background, but the fact African Americans had not received any rights, and had used slaves as a source of income. Abolitionists indicated “African Americans should be recognized as American citizens and incorporated into the nation”[1], since American society intended for everyone living in the United States to be citizens. Black and white abolitionists who tried to end slavery were William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Weld, and Frederick Douglas. 2. The movement of the abolition of slavery started to intensify as both northern and southern individuals gathered to voice their hostility towards slavery by using the public sphere. Abolitionists focused mainly on changing the views of the public on slavery by publishing pamphlets, gathering......

Words: 2230 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

American History

...Essay Assignment #1 History can be used as a stepping stone in understanding the contemporary world and why its relevance can be connected to what has happened in the past to what is happening today. One of these examples in history that has made a huge impact in today’s world is the social and economic inequalities leading up to the American Revolution. The cause of the Revolution was due to many of the grievances that colonists had for the British. Knowing this fact, we can better understand how this is useful and relevant in understanding the economic inequalities in Egypt which led to the Revolution in 2011. The American Revolution was fought because of numerous unresolved conflicts that the colonists had with the British. Even after the war, there were problems still lingering. Some of these issues included freedom of expression, voting rights and political participation, and the Inflation of goods. Many of these disagreements resulted in rioting and protests, as well as boycotting of goods and such. Let’s start with freedom of expression. Speech was limited in Britain, but if referring to the boundary outside of Parliament, then there was no legal protection for freedom of speech. Moreover, an individual could be beheaded for criticizing the king and the government. Even before the Revolution, voting rights and the political participation was very limited when electing government officials. There were property qualifications in order to vote in America. For......

Words: 1117 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

African American History

...African American History Since 1865 Alishia Colella HIS 204 American History Since 1865 Instructor Thomas Roka March 11, 2013 African American History Since 1865 Most individuals are probably familiar with the well-documented information regarding African American history, such as the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but there are also many little known facts about their history that are of equal importance. African Americans have been present in the United States ever since the early 1600s and their presents plays an important role in American history not only because of the Civil Rights Movement, but because of the strength and courage that they had struggling to try and live a good life in America. History is rife with records of decades of untold torture and harrowing experiences that African American slaves suffered from at the hands of their captors and masters; they were even denied all natural rights as human beings and forced to live like animals. In all actuality, a slave was viewed as one-third of a person and the property of their owner(s), treated as an object instead of a person. Therefore, one could assume that after their emancipation, life would have become significantly better because the slavers were free to move away from the torturous hands of their masters. However, most of them faced incredible opposition and discrimination even after emancipation. Thus by and large, did not truly free them nor did it directly......

Words: 3329 - Pages: 14

Free Essay

Minipulated

...------------------------------------------------- Minipulated African Americans and the Revolution Nikki Jones Genesee community college History 203: Fall 2014 Nikki Jones Genesee community college History 203: Fall 2014 Manipulated: African Americans and the Revolution One of the most notable intellectual paradoxes in American history is how the founding fathers could promote the equal rights of man and their perceived enslavement by the crown while simultaneously holding a fifth of their own population in bondage. Another question that plaques the history of this great nation is why abolition, or widespread emancipation, did not occur at this period in time when revolutionary and republican rhetoric existed alongside of anti-slavery sentiments. A case can be made that Americans were speaking more loudly for the end of political enslavement, rather than the freedom of slaves themselves. The exclusion of slaves from the political forefront made it easier for Americans to make these hypocritical claims. Whether or not whites were able to justify themselves the exclusion of the black community from their cries for freedom, the parallels revolutionary rhetoric had on their own condition were not lost on slaves. Many took advantage of the revolutionary crisis and ran away and joined either side in hopes to attain their own independence. There reasons that Blacks chose to join the revolutionary fight are as varied as the individuals who made them. The motives......

Words: 2286 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Ethics 125 Assignment #4

...Louisiana. As stated in the Ancestors in the Americas: Asian America history timeline, In the 1830s Chinese were "sugar masters" working in Hawaii. There were also Chinese sailors and peddlers in New York. Ancestors in the Americas: Asian America History Timeline, as retrieved from http://www.cetel.org/timeline.html A resource from one of the largest, up to date survey, which is the American Religious Identification surveys shows that not one religion can claim the majority for the Asian American Community. It shows a 27% of Asian Americans follow Eastern Religions such as Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, Sikh. This report also shows that 17% of the Asian Community is Catholic. This percentage has declined from 27% in 1990. The Asian Nation website states, “Chinese Americans are the oldest and largest ethnic group of Asian ancestry in the United States. They have endured a long history of migration and settlement that dates back to the late 1840s…”, Lai, E., Arguelles, D. (2012) The New Face of Asian Pacific America: retrieved from http://www.asian-nation.org/chinese.shtml. Most Chinese immigrants arrived in the United States as contract labor. First in Hawaii for plantation followed by mining in the West Coast and after that working on transcontinental railroads west of the Rocky Mountains. There were many acts of discrimination towards Chinese immigrants. The discrimination against Chinese Americans culminated in the Chinese Exclusion Act 1882. “…effectively......

Words: 1929 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

American Identity

...My American Identity The five key values that were studied and learned about in class were civic engagement, freedom, equality, patriotism and democracy. I do not believe that one of these values is more American than the other though three of these mean more to me personally than others. Patriotism, freedom, and equality. Together they make the United States of America unique from any other country. Yes, some countries have freedom, but no other country in the world is like ours because we hold these values nearest and dearest to us; at least most of us do. These five values are the values that we strive for in perfecting to make us so great. Some are more rounded than others but they are all what makes the United States so unique. I decided to chose was patriotism as one of the values that describes me as an American because I feel like no matter what the situation is in America, every American should be patriotic. Not saying that a person has to be a die hard patriotic person and willing to take a bullet for his, or her country, but one should love their country, not the government for say. I feel like patriotism defines who I am as an American because of the support and respect I have for my country, even though I do feel like there are flaws all throughout this country and it’s history, I still stand up and by my country. I decided to do my part and show my love and devotion for this country by joining the military and enlisting this past February. ......

Words: 1575 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Bill of Rights and Amendments Paper

...Paper Renee Sumpter History 301 October 2, 2013 John Carter The Bill of Rights and the amendments to the Constitution is a very important in our history. These documents were written to correct mistakes that were within the original document. This paper will cove why the amendments became part of the Constitution, what parts of the original documents motivated the adoption of the Bill of Rights, and finally what the effects of the Bill of Rights has had for us as a society. Amendments are revisions or improvements to the original document that was written in 1788. Amendments become part of the Constitution when mistakes are found or a revision is needed to the original. To have an amendment go through two thirds of the House and the Senate must be in approval of the proposal. They must then send it to their states for a vote. Once the proposal has been sent to the states and voted on, three fourths of those states must affirm the propose Amendment. Amendments can be updates on already existing regulations or they can also be improvements on existing regulations. It is a revision to what has already been written in the Constitution. Because the law states that a law that is made in the Constitution cannot be removed or taken out of the Constitution. The only way to change or improve that law is to modify it. Amendments are meant as a way to change the Constitution. The problem with the original document of the Bill of Rights was that Americans feared that it......

Words: 797 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

A Disappointed California

...dreams. Most of people think that America is the best place in the world, especially California. Some peoples’ hopes become true but many hopes do not come true. Some are upper class people who have their own business in their own country and their lives totally change to employee when they come to California. They have no chance not to come to California. So they have to leave their business and come to California. California provides the dream of having a better life. In contract, California is a lie and disappointed place for people whom immigrate to California because many things make people’s history disappear, people about segregation and have short lives by Americans and people have poor lives in California. History is vey important for every nationality. Everyone should know about his/her background and country history. But now most of children have lack of their own history. It is really disappointed for grandparents and parents. Many Vietnamese people immigrate and build a new life in the United States during the Vietnam War. The reason people from Vietnam run to the United States was if they continued living in Vietnam, they had less chance to survive in their own country. Even though they moved to the United States, especially to California, from other countries with their family, they still wanted to keep their homeland’s tradition. Many old people, first-generation, are superstitious and they want and ask their children, 1.5 generation, to keep their own......

Words: 1848 - Pages: 8