Liberalism, By Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, And Adam Smith

1707 WordsFeb 19, 20167 Pages
Liberalism is, arguably, the foundation the United States. Liberalism is the concept that society should operate on the principles of equality and liberty. Some of the main principles of liberalism that built the United States came from famous thinkers: Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and Adam Smith. Each of these men believed individual liberty was at the heart of liberalism. The three main principles of liberalism that play a major role in its function are equal rights, individualism, and capitalism. However, are these principles necessarily perfect? This raises the question, is individual liberty necessarily a positive notion as many Americans believe, or are there flaws in the system? Although individual liberalism is regarded as a great thing, there are many problems with its concepts such as unequal treatment, the lack of community in individualism, and the materialistic nature of humans. One of the most famous statements by Thomas Jefferson is, “all men are created equal” (Jefferson pg. 1, para. 2). Jefferson upholds his stated self-evident truths that all humans have “certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Jefferson pg. 1, para. 2). Rights and equality go hand in hand in the Declaration of Independence. He explains that all men deserve these self-evident truths and the complaints for the king’s failure of recognizing them are demonstrated through his long list of usurpations. Some examples that Jefferson provides
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