The development of democracy and freedom in the United States of America is associated with a rich historical development spanning through memorable accounts. From the World Wars to the internal restructuring of the freedom, policies have depicted how the concept has evolved among the American leadership and national integration. The current state of liberty and equality culture of the state has been adopted and embraced across the world. This excerpt examines how the concept of freedom and liberty has changed in the United States of America during and after the America Revolution period.
It is essential to recognize how freedom and liberty form the baselines of the American historical development. In fact, the declaration of American independence was founded on liberty and equality terms as a right to every citizen (Munro, 2013). The onset of the concept of freedom in America was associated with limited and restrictive privileges, which depended on the nationality of an individual or their respective social status. Internal self-governance and freedom to economic trade were seen as the essential liberties; however, the masters still exercised their power on slaves (Foner, 2001). The level of freedom one enjoyed depended on the individual or collective understanding of the concept. Such advantages were attributed to selected individuals, which led to social segregation in America in particular between the Whites and the Blacks (McPherson, 2006). Moreover, freedom was associated with Christianity where an individual was required to leave the sinful life, which did not include religious tolerance or right to make ones wish (Rogers, 2004). The level of the earlier understanding of freedom rested upon the adherence to the law, which did not apply equally to the Americans. Such scenarios were related to the social position and origin of a group or an individual.
The effect of British dominance within the United States ignited the quest for freedom and the understanding of the oppression that came with skewed authority. Activists declared their radical positions in which they declared how the need for free existence for the American community was an essential and mandatory need by pointing the consequences of living under the control of the external authority. The struggle for independence called for dedication to acquiring self-rule as well as control to states resources, something that could not be achieved under the British influence. The formation of colonists affected the development of advanced religious liberty and people like William Penn regarded their colony as the refuge for spiritual freedom for defectors (Foner, 2001). The constant oppression emanating from the British control such as increased tax regimes escalated the desire for freedom among the Americans. The onset of the Civil War paved the way for a transformational change in the state since it was time to establish internal and independent mechanisms. A shift from the confined religious colonies to a more advanced privilege is a historical move that changed the control of British leadership within the American soil (Kennedy, 2004).
Furthermore, the meaning of freedom changed and now included the aspects of rights and individual liberties. There was a need for breaking the bond with the inherited colonial cultures that encouraged hierarchical leadership and social stratification. Unequal application of policies came as an internal concern, especially from the Black Americans. Freedom became the need of each American, and the onset of democratic systems affirmed the changes from the colonial regimes. Although a sense of discrimination was witnessed among the leaders, a strong resistance from the Negros, who claimed they had not yet seen the fruits of freedom, met the formation of discriminatory policies. The concept of nationhood became the pillar of the American state, and the structures have been recognized internationally as a reference for social and economic independence (Foner, 2001). Moreover, for the outsiders such as slaves, the blacks, and the aboriginals the sense of belonging became a right since the virtue of human ideal provided for their existence within the developed policies. Developed revolutions from groups called for the empowerment and recognition of the women and marginalized groups within the national decisions settings as well as leadership positions. Birthright was constitutionalized and the move assisted in settling a greater percentage of controversy related to slavery (Commission on Civil Rights, 2009). The challenge remained with the raised critics of the possibility of embracing social freedom amid the economic inequality, which was inherited from the colonial influence.
In conclusion, the understanding of the notion of freedom in the United States of America has not been the same before, during, and after the Revolution period. The initial stages were characterized by the liberty from external influence, but the internal structures were market by racial discrimination, and inequality advanced against the African American communities. The process of internal struggles led to democracy and equal representations in government and leadership. Religious liberty also characterized the modern period, and changes within the social setups improved the level of integrations and cohesive policy development. Besides, the revolution not only brought variations in the political mechanisms but also within the economic and social dimensions.
Commission on Civil Rights. (2009). Justice for all: The United States commission on civil rights and the continuing struggle for freedom in America. Choice Reviews Online, 46(11), 466390466390. http://doi.org/10.5860/choice.46-6390
Foner, E. (2001). The contested history of American freedom. Retrieved 20 June 2016, from http://digitalhistory.hsp.org/pafrm/essay/contested-history-american-freedom
Kennedy, D. M. (2004). Freedom from fear: Part 1: The American people in the great depression. New York: Oxford University Press.
McPherson, A. L. (2006). Intimate ties, bitter struggles: The United States and Latin America since 1945. United States: Potomac Books.
Munro, J. (2013). Colored cosmopolitanism: The shared struggle for freedom in the United States and India. Social History, 38(1), 104- 106. http://doi.org/10.1080/03071022.2013.758800
Rogers, M. (2004). Religious freedom in the United States. International Journal, 59(4), 902. http://doi.org/10.2307/40203992
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