The American Concept Of Freedom

1357 WordsApr 13, 20166 Pages
The American concept of freedom is a constant source of debate. There is a difference in perspective, in expectation, in allowable expression of said freedoms within the confines of a mutually agreed upon societal contract as defined by legislation. The extremes define boundaries set by anarchy with total freedom and gulag like conditions with no freedom. Following the Civil War, during Reconstruction, the perspective of a share cropper may well have been that there was little to the idea of American freedom. Gender, age, religious affiliation, race, and socio-economic status of an individual has played a role in the freedom that the individual experienced in America. These changes in freedom have had many actors influencing the extent to which freedom has been afforded to some and denied others. Following the Civil War, many changes influenced how American citizens experienced freedom. The changes continue on through the twenty-first century suggesting that the process is ongoing. As the discussion of individual perspectives on the concept of American freedom is such a vast subject, some of the larger changes to specific groups are worth investigating. By far, the largest changes to the personal perspective of what the idea of American freedom meant occurred as a function of race. The methods by which these changes to freedom occurred as a function of race was by legal action, namely legislation, executive order and legal precedent. In order to focus the

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