What Is The Meaning Of Freedom In American Literature

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The meaning of freedom has drastically changed overtime in American Literature from the liberty of religious practice to a Post-modern economic entitlement, a shift seen when comparing the literature of the Enlightenment, the Civil War Era, and the Modern and Post-modern Era. The Enlightenment Era roughly spanned one-hundred and thirty years, from the 1680s to 1810s. During this time, settlers flooded to America searching for a place to practice religion freely, England sought more taxes from the established colonies, and the American militia men fought the Revolutionary War. A new nation and government had begun. These historical events were propelled by the authors of the day. Their literary themes of freedom reflected three shifts. The Puritans founded the American roots of freedom in the ability to practice religion freely without persecution or interference. In England, the Puritans were persecuted for their views of Christianity. William Bradford on his voyage to the New World demonstrates the values of the early Americans and their view of freedom in ¨Of Plymouth Plantation.¨ Through Bradford´s historical narrative he demonstrates the Puritan’s reliance on God. ¨Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper
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