Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Democracy, United States, America, Freedom, Law, Citizenship, Concept, Colony

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/10

In the late 18th century, an individual freedom was considered as the main target of all democratic societies, where each individual had a right to get its personal happiness, according to his views, interests, consciousness and morality in the limits established by common law. Since that time the world has passed a long way of achievements and losses, and has been changed a lot. As all other categories of a society, liberties and freedoms change over time in both ways, nationally as well as individually. The essay is going to investigate the issue of national and personal freedoms.
Today, liberties are a stable social category guaranteed to each citizen by its country and other citizens. Freedoms reflect a liberty to act and express a will. In my opinion, the most important part of personal freedom today is a liberty to express thoughts, conceptions and requests to the government. Norms that control liberties and freedoms are in the process of constant development. In such a way, constitutional decisions made by the colonial American government 300 years ago, change with the time. Nowadays, they do not correspond to the constantly developing societies. So, government supplements them with new amendments. In my opinion, today the most important are freedom of speech, press and meetings, the right to participate in elections, a freedom to express religion views, and the right to be equal for all races, religion convictions, sex and other individual characteristics.
It is important to understand the roots of the contemporary American liberties, national as well as personal. The original basics of the American concept of civil rights and freedoms can be found in the ancient teachings about a state organization and rights of citizens, the philosophy of Enlightenment with its religious and ethical norms and ideals, principles of Roman law and English common law. In particular, there are ideas taken from monumental works in British law, the Magna Cart, English Bill of rights and the French Declaration of the rights dated by 1789. The American right was developed from the English legal system, because the United Kingdom had sovereignty over the land before the American war of independence in 1775. Therefore, it is not surprising that English sources of law had a great influence on the formation of the American concept of civil rights and freedoms. A significant contribution to the formation of the American civil rights and freedoms has made the French Declaration of rights, which, in the opinion of many thinkers, is considered the philosophical and legal source of the Bill of Rights of the United States. A significant role in shaping the American concept of citizens' rights and freedoms played teachings of John Milton, English Edward Coke, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and Frenchmen Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire and Charles Montesquieu.
John Woolman wrote in his notes that freedom is something given by nature to the people. Studying carefully the history of America, it can be noted that the fundamental characteristics of the American concept of citizens ' rights and freedoms had been already formed in the colonial period. Advanced for those times the ideas of North American colonies were built on such principles as the theory of popular sovereignty and natural law. In the early years of the development of the North American colonies, ideas of rights and freedoms had a pronounced religious character. Only over time, they became based on the theory of the voluntary agreement, or contract theories. Having proclaimed many important democratic principles and guaranteed rights and freedoms, the Constitution of that time did not reproduce the main ideas of freedom. For example, it saved the institution of slavery, despite its abolition in the whole world. In 1789, there was a number of amendments to the Constitution on the rights and freedoms of the individuals, which were subsequently adopted and ratified by the Congress. Amendments comprising the Bill of Rights, guarantee freedom of religion, of speech and of the press. They also proclaim the right of citizens to peaceful assembly, to bear arms, on the protection of the individual, home, and property from unreasonable search or seizure, the trial and the public, impartial and timely review of cases by jury trial.
For example, the concept of freedom of the press in America was based on the works of British journalists, the meaning of which was the proclamation of the principle of the social value of freedom of the press. They proclaimed the idea that print must be free not only from prior censorship, but also from prosecution for libel and defamation after publishing. Today, the United States has a powerful system of media and neither the State nor party television and periodicals in the United States do not exist. Therefore, ensuring the freedom of the media was one of the most important aspects of the Constitution.
Liberties in the American Constitution pushed the limits of the consciousness and opened the way to a free development of democratic freedoms and rights at the national level. In its turn, it gave the possibility to develop an individual liberty. Nowadays, there are changes in the priorities of some fundamental values of life and culture, especially, the acceptance of citizens to limit their freedom in the name of to ensure their own security. People's willingness to exchange the freedom to security is spread in Europe and America nowadays.


Audio from the presentation “Culture and Colonial North America”.
"A Most Awkward, Ridiculous Appearance": Benjamin Franklin Enters Philadelphia." "A Most Awkward, Ridiculous Appearance": Benjamin Franklin Enters Philadelphia. Accessed January 23, 2015. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5823.
"A Quaker Abolitionist Travels Through Maryland and Virginia: The Journal of John Woolman, 1757." A Quaker Abolitionist Travels Through Maryland and Virginia: The Journal of John Woolman, 1757. Accessed January 23, 2015.
Berkin, Carol. Making America: A History of the United States. 6th ed. New York: Wadsworth, 2012.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 10) Example Of Liberty Essay Essay. Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-liberty-essay-essay/
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Example Of Liberty Essay Essay. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-liberty-essay-essay/. Published Oct 10, 2020. Accessed November 28, 2022.

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