The Pros And Cons Of Liberty

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Liberty is defined by Merriam-Webster as freedom from external (as governmental) restraint, compulsion, or interference in engaging in the pursuits or conduct of one's choice to the extent that they are lawful and not harmful to others and enjoyment of the rights enjoyed by others in a society free of arbitrary or unreasonable limitation or interference.(“Liberty.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liberty.) James Madison expressed concern that personal freedoms may be adversely affected by abuses of power. The writers of the United States Constitution addressed this concern via checks and balances and separation of powers. The Bill of Rights was written to specifically guarantee personal rights, addressing Madison’s concerns. The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution contains ten amendments that address personal liberties. These liberties include freedom of speech, religion, press, the right to bear arms and the right to a trial by jury, among others. Seven of the ten amendments were drafted by James Madison. Madison along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton also wrote The Federalist Papers, espousing their views on personal freedoms and rights that they viewed should be protected by the government. These freedoms are still in place today and remain both important and, sometimes controversial.
Madison’s concerns about abuses of liberty could be valid if, for example, Black Americans were treated unfairly and in
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