Liberty in the History of America Essay

2150 Words 9 Pages
America is commonly called the “Land of the Free”, but the abundance of liberties, and liberties for all, has not always been the case. The Puritans were some of the first to settle in the New World, but they were self-interested and did not come with the purpose of creating a free state for all. As time progressed, so did their believes, and by the time Tocqueville arrived from France, liberty was an important aspect of American life. So important that people would fight and die for it. Tocqueville, while impressed at the amount liberty and freedoms that citizens had, believed that America had a long way to go before it could call itself a truly free country. Fast forward over a hundred years later, and John Rawls lived in a time were the conversation on equality and justice were major political issues. Rawls proposed a brand new way of looking at concepts of equality and justice and how to define them. The idea of liberty has played a significant role throughout the history of America, however how it is defined and what its implications are have changed from the Puritans, to Tocqueville and finally with John Rawls.
The Puritans came to the New World in the 17th century with the intent to establish a homogenous state where they could practice their religious beliefs freely, but also to create and control a government that would complement their religious society. The Puritans saw the British society that they were living in as oppressive and corrupt. Starting over gave…