The United States and the Ideals of Freedom Essay

Decent Essays

Since the creation of the United States, the meaning of freedom has changed to meet changing attitudes. Throughout our nation’s history, there have been significant periods of racial, economic and civil rights inequalities. There are different meanings for freedoms that have been established throughout the historical period of the United States. During this modern era, the US had certain periods of time that lived up to the ideals of freedom such as the Gilded Age. In opposition, the US has also had periods of time where our ideals of freedom failed to meet the requirements of our nation, a prime example being the late 1940s when the US entered the Cold War and led to the anti-communism period of McCarthyism which ultimately restricted …show more content…

This expanded the notion of capitalism and the idea of freedom for these large industries. This would support Foner’s third dimension that companies were entitled to certain freedoms within the workplace and beyond.
In the case of this historical era, the people that sought to enjoy the most freedom were those who owned large industries, and received high sums of profit from their vast empires. In a sense, this was seen as a good thing some of these “captains of industry” came from immigrant backgrounds. Such an example is Carnegie who at a young age provided for his family and shortly after became a hardworking and wealthy innovator. Following in Carnegies footsteps, John D Rockefeller also came from a modest family background and worked his way up. These two examples show a small glimpse of the economic freedom that was allowed during this time period. As Foner put it in Give me Liberty! “These and other industrial leaders inspired among ordinary Americans a combination of awe, admiration, and hostility… most rose from modest backgrounds and seemed examples of how inventive genius and business sense enabled America to seize opportunities for success” (Foner, 593). Foner’s argument was based on the possibility of common wealth citizens to work hard and rise to the top in order to reach the American dream.
Despite the United States having great ideals of freedom and exemplifying this throughout history there have been moments where

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