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American history - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date American history Question 1: Different views on the definition of the term “Liberty” Introduction In April 1864, Lincoln opted to deliver a public speech in Maryland, where he took an initiative of defining the word liberty, which has been used in several occasions to mean different things…
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Download file to see previous pages... Moreover, the North, the South, the Free Soilers, and the Republicans had their own ways of definitions. They differed in their views as follows: Lincoln defined liberty as the ability of a citizen to do what he wishes for himself, and whatever that is a product of his labor. This made slave trade an oppression since the person who created labor was not the same one who used it, rather a different person got the freedom to utilize it. In addition, Lincoln defined Liberty as a condition where citizens could do anything they desired with others and anything they had generated with their labor. The definition of slavery was therefore not a matter of liberty, but that of human rights. On the other hand, Stephen Douglass questioned most of Lincoln’s quotes against freedom. He disagreed with most of the phrases, arguing that America had been existing half slave and half free, several years. His view was that there was no issue about some people being at liberty while others were not; the system should have continued. The U.S was a big country and what Liberty meant for one region was not the same as the other. Differences between the North and South view of Liberty To the North, both liberty and power resided often with the community as compared to individuals. Societies had both the liberty and the duty to rule themselves as per their own wishes to invest in their general good, and to punish or favor people whose behavior threatened or improved the rest of the community. An individual was responsible to balance personal desires and needs against entire good of the community. In return, the community was responsible for caring for the sick, educating the young, and providing for the less fortune. This support expanded every person’s liberty to live in self-respect and prosper. In contrast, the South believed that the degree of liberty that one enjoyed was a directly given by God in the social hierarchy. More authority was determined by the level of status one had, and thus, one with more authority had more liberty to exercise. This meant that one had more “liberties” with the rights, properties, and the lives of fellow citizens. How the Free Soilers differed with the Republicans on the meaning of liberty The Free Soil party adopted the motto, “Free Soil, Free Labor, And Free Men.” They opposed the expansion of slavery into the western regions and believed in freedom and equal rights. No party had powers to make a slave than to make a leader. The free soilers viewed that through forgetting all the past political disagreements, they could form a union of free men, to obtain liberty, and have a common goal. Liberty meant having the rights to free labor without the violence of the slave authority, and to safeguard free soil for free citizens. The Republicans had the conception that, an agent is free because he is not dominated by other agents. He is dominated only when and because others have capabilities of interference, deliberately and on a random basis, in particular choices that he has an opportunity to make. Conclusion Although the word Liberty was used by various elites and communities to give it a different meaning, the issue at hand remained to be slavery. Lincoln’s definition was the most logical, particularly in this context. Anyone who had never read about Lincoln’s declaration of liberty would probably define it in the same way. Question 2: The meaning of the fourth of July ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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