How Has Freedom Changed Over Time

Decent Essays

Is freedom really what we think it is? Has our perception of freedom changed over time? A simple definition of freedom is “the quality or state of being free.” (Webster’s Dictionary). Has this simple definition been twisted to match our own personal ideas and wants? Words like “liberty” and “independence” can also be associated with freedom, but do these words mean something different to different people? Although Webster’s defines freedom as the state of being free, that definition can become controversial depending on people’s views and understand of their freedoms as seen in the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, and the freedom to experience life and liberty. Freedom of religion means that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” (Jacobus 93). “Free exercise” does not always mean “free exercise”. The Supreme Court has been forced to put certain limitations on the practice of religion. (Wilson, Dilulio, & Bose, 95). For instance people are not allowed to …show more content…

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” (Jacobus 93). Just like the Freedom of Religion there are limitations placed on the Freedom of Speech so that other people’s rights aren’t compromised. For example, people are not allowed to present true threats, or “fighting words” to another person. This restriction was put into play in the court case of Chaplinsky vs. New Hampshire. The Court ruled that “fighting words, by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace and may be punished consistent with the First Amendment.” (Ruane 3-4). In this case if someone was to use “fighting words” which is their perceived freedom of speech, it would not only violate the law, it could violate someone’s freedom of pursue life, liberty, and happiness. With this, we can see that freedom is not always as it

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