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Liberty - Essay Example

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This essay is about liberty. It has been one of the most significant aspects protecting rights and freedom of all citizen of any given citizen across the world. Due to this fact, all governments across the world have been doing all their best to ensure that they protect liberty of their citizens under all costs. …
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The Actual Meaning of Liberty
Since long time ago, liberty has been one of the most significant aspects protecting rights and freedom of all citizen of any given citizen across the world. Due to this fact, all governments across the world have been doing all their best to ensure that they protect liberty of their citizens under all costs. Liberty refers to the state of a free person, exemption from subjection to the will of another claiming ownership of an individual or service; it is freedom opposed to slavery, bondage, subjection or serfdom (The Emma Goldman Papers 1).
Due to the fact that liberty is a term that started to be used by many different countries even before the beginning of 18th century, it had many different meanings according to many different countries. While liberty means something different today, it had a different meaning in different countries in 19th century with the United States being a good example. While liberty refers currently to the state of a free person, exemption from subjection to the will of another claiming ownership of an individual or service; it is freedom opposed to slavery, bondage, subjection or serfdom, these documents (referenced) shows that in the United States during the late 19th century, liberty referred to a superstition artificially created and maintained through a series of lies and falsehood and which robed man of his self-respect and dignity, and raised his arrogance and conceit (The Emma Goldman Papers 2).
Conceit, arrogance, and egotism were actually essentials of liberty by then. This is because people who had luck of some certain spot, considered themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent compared to the other people inhabiting any other spot. It was therefore duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in an attempt to impose his superiority upon all others.
By doing this, the actual meaning of liberty as known today was denied to many people, because their rights and freedom were denied and violated directly and indirectly using any means possible. For instance, while slavery had been abolished and everybody given a chance for self defense and defending the state, citizens denied each other this liberty by fighting and killing each other with no mercy. Everybody therefore had to stay and remain in his place of birth without entering into other places.
Justice system was also full of impunity with no justice being granted. Many people were accused falsely and even sentenced for imprisonment without any reasonable reasons but due to what was viewed as granting and protecting liberty of all citizens. There are many different cases in these documents that have shown this with that of BUCK v. BELL, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) being a good example (U.S. Supreme Court 2).
People were also restricted from moving from one country to the other (immigration). There were strict laws that were implemented to govern and prevent people from moving out or in the United States. Those who were found to have violated this law- immigrating from or to the United States- were usually sent to life imprisonment hence the freedom of movement was fully curtailed (The US Survey Course on the Web 14). In order to ensure this, military was formed with people being ready to kill or die in the name of protecting their land or country.
Generally, in the United States during the late 19th century, liberty meant that every citizen remained in his place of birth without going beyond borders and ready to do everything that it takes to prevent their territory including killing or dying. People were not allowed to move freely, associate or own property.
Works Cited
The Emma Goldman Papers. (Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays 3rd Ed.” Patriotism: A menace to liberty. New York: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1917, 1-9.
The US Survey Course on the Web. ADDENDUM: Who was shut out? : Immigration Quotas, 1925–1927. Web. Nov. 17, 2011.
U.S. Supreme Court. BUCK v. BELL, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), 274 U.S. 200, and BUCK v. BELL, Superintendent of State Colony Epileptics and Feeble Minded, No. 292. Web. Nov. 17, 2011. Read More
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