Liberty refers to the freedom from control by any authority in terms of behaviour, beliefs, political and economic decisions that one holds. In the US, liberty has evolved over years to the level it is today. The various states in the US were colonized, and this means that people were under the control of the colonizers. The people who led the colonies made major decisions that were to be respected by the people in the US. This changed when the US gained independence and people got a chance to control themselves. The new government assured the locals that they would no longer be controlled by the foreigners. This was the first step towards the journey of achieving liberty.
The adoption of the constitution was the second step in achieving liberty. The constitution specified the freedoms of the people in the society, giving the people greater liberty because their freedom was protected by the constitution. Anyone who violated the liberty of the citizens would be punished in accordance with the constitution, including the government officials (Helms, 2001). The constitution also provided for the separation of powers between the three arms of the government, which improved liberty further because none of the branches of the government had excess power to infringe the liberty of the citizens.
The formation of the Union was another step towards greater liberty. The federation meant that there was a larger government that controlled people with diverse characteristics. The government officials cannot control the behaviour of these diverse people, and they had the power to remove any leader from their position if they belief that the leader is interfering with their liberty (Bodenhamer, 2012). This means that the formation of the federal government was a major step towards achieving greater liberty.
After independence, churches were run by collecting taxes from the people and then availing the cash to the church to run their operations. This meant that only a few churches could be operated and were under the great control of the government. Thomas Jefferson worked to ensure that there was a separation between the church and the government. The law that was passed increased the liberty of the people in the society because they now would make the decision of contributing to the church of their choice and amount that they wished (Immerman, 2010). Churches would then be run in a way the members wished and not the way the government wished. The religious institutions increased in the US as people sought to join religions of their choice.
Slavery was a great issue in the United States that was provided for by the constitution. The black Americans were slaves in the US and their freedom was limited by their fellow human beings who believed that their race was superior. Thomas Jefferson initiated speeches that informed the society of the needs to end slavery. This finally led to an end of slavery period in the United States, and the black Americans were given the freedom they needed (Munoz, 2015). They became citizens of the country and could vote to select leaders as well as vie for various political seats. The amendment of the constitution gave the black Americans the political and economic liberty they needed since they could then own land and engage in farming activities.
In conclusion, liberty has evolved in the US over many years. Liberty can be traced to the period when the US was under colonial rule. Through the amendment of the constitution, various groups of people in the society were given greater liberty, protected by the constitution (Troesken, 2015). The amendments to the constitution have enabled the US citizens to get greater political, economic, social and religious liberty.
Bodenhamer, D. J. (2012). The revolutionary Constitution. New York: Oxford University Press.
Helms, J. (2001). Empire for Liberty: A sovereign America and her moral mission. Washington, DC: Regnery Pub.
League of Women Voters (U.S.). (1956). Liberty and security: Our federal loyalty-security programs: origins, operations, and improvements which have been proposed. Washington, D.C: The League.
Munoz, V. P. (2015). Religious liberty and the American Supreme Court: The essential cases and documents. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Troesken, W. (2015). The pox of Liberty: How the Constitution left Americans rich, free, and prone to infection. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Immerman, R. H. (2010). Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
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