Liberty is constantly changing. Throughout the first few chapters of American history liberty was considered to be something that was reserved for only the wealthiest and the most powerful in society. These people were only wealthy, land-owning white men. The colonists only started to feel that their liberties were being oppressed when the revolution began to heat up. The British were passing more and more acts to control the colonists, to prove that they still had their power. The colonists began to revolt against these acts, and this only angered the British even more. At this point liberty is no longer something that is taken for granted. Liberty is now being questioned for the first time. Colonists weren’t allowed to do some of the things that they had used to do. Liberty is something that is now in “high demand”. The colonists revolt against the control of the British. They organize against the British at the Continental Congress. Here they discussed liberty, and freedom, and all of the other things that they believed to be essential to the foundation for their nation. Liberty is now something that should be fought for. In the past liberty was taken for granted. At this point there is a common goal for the colonists. This goal is to gain back the liberty that was taken from them. England began exercising powers over the colonies, and the colonies decided that it was time to prove that they could have powers of their own. Liberty has changed from something that men took for granted to something that was worth fighting for. This isn’t close to my definition of liberty at all. I believe that liberty is something that everyone is entitled to, no matter what race, gender, or social status you are. Liberty is constantly changing. It is being restricted, or widened depending on how the government is conducting their business. I believe that this is only a momentary thing for the colonists. They will have their liberty back soon enough.
My ideas of liberty have shifted from something concrete to something more theoretical. Liberty is denied to slaves, women, and Indians in the colonies frequently, and this has become the normal. Through chapters 1-4 I have learned that liberty, as I know it was reserved for white men only. They can own land, vote, participate in town meetings, and they hold jobs. In my first blog post I stated; “liberty Is something that I believe should never be questioned and/or taken away from anyone”. Throughout these chapters about Native Americans, slaves, women, and the revolution I have realized that liberty was not always a given things. Immigrants came to America for a new start. When the came here they were often under strict rules. Indentured servants had to work for a set period of time, slaves were forced into labor, and many poor immigrants were deprived of basic liberties.
My definition of liberty has changed form something that should never be taken away from anyone, and that everyone is entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Liberty in early colonial America was a glorified idea. Immigrants came to America with high hopes for a new life, where they could prosper, and start a good lives for their family, unfortunately in early America in order for this to work you had to be a wealthy white man. Slaves had no liberty, indentured servants didn’t have liberty until they had served their debt, and women were void of liberty as well.
These first sections of the book caused me to think about how far our country has come. Society today takes liberty for granted, and like so many others I didn’t consider what liberty was like in the past until we studied it in colonial America. I am thankful at how many steps we have taken towards liberty, and I hope that we wont take any steps backwards.