Liberty can be defined as the state of an individual or a group of people being free from being restricted and oppressed by authority hence their fundamental rights are not infringed In the book,’ give me liberty’’, there is an outline of an American history since the time of dark ages when liberty and freedom had not come into limelight to the time of industrial demand for freedom and liberty hence the title of the book ‘give me liberty’. America passed through the following stages as outlined in volume two of this book from chapter fifteen to chapter twenty eight to attain today’s modern democracy and liberty.
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First was the civil war-1861-1865. Secondly, we had the gilded ages-1870-180, thirdly, freedom boundaries both at home and abroad. The fourth one was the first world war-1916-1920, the fifth was the great economic depresson-1920-1932, the sixth was the signing of the new deal-1932-1940, the seventh was the second world war-1941-1945, the eighth was the cold war-1945-1953, the ninth was affluent society-1953-1960, the tenth was the triumph of conservatism-1969-1988, the eleventh was the era of globalization-1989-2000, the twelfth was the new century crisis- post 2000 and finally, the civil war-1861-1865 that led to the existence of slavery and the violation of peoples fundamental rights, this necessitate to the birth of emancipation that later engineered the reconstruction efforts. During this civil war, Abraham Lincoln fought for universal political democracy and human liberty this is echoed in the publications termed as the voice of freedom.
During this war, the southern benefited while there was an economic turmoil in the north. As a result, Martin T. Tupper wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln addressing the situation .However, Abraham Lincoln’s effort to restore the situation by abolishing slavery seemed abortive due to the fact that he was assassinated soon afterwards. Freedom for the blacks (gilded age) Between 1865 and1877, their existed the grudge between the white southerners who felt threatened by the black northerners in the name of freedom as was advocated by the emancipation that granted the blacks an opportunity to be liberated from slavery no sooner had the blacks held offices and secured landownership rights, than the war organized by the Klan took its effect. But the war was almost brought under control in 1877.
President Abraham Lincoln and his republican supports proposed a constitution amendment specifically about the land issue, as a result of this, the land issue was resolved by the senate and the house of representatives and approved b Schuyler Colfax, the speaker of the house of representatives, H. Hamlin, the vice president of the united states of America, Abraham Lincoln, the president of the united states of America on February, 1865.
Between the year 1870 and 1890, America experienced the industrial revolution that led to urbanization, growth and expansion of markets, mushrooming of industries and increase in the rate and magnitude of exploitation of the low class people and the rich people, improved farming methods among other advancements as for as technology is concerned apart from the industrial revolution, the liberty statue upon which America stands today was enacted, this was a national symbol for freedom. But unfortunately enough, the government’s role in freedom guarantee was not well defined.
At the same time, a series of war was witnessed between the Indians who were displaced by the Americans and this generated a great political divide between the two fighting fronts. there was forced labor in farms and industries diminished liberty thus there was a gap between the rich and the poor has can be seen from Mathew smiths bestselling book entitled ‘’sunshine and shadow in New York’’ (1808) but later , Henry George criticized this situation. The next was the freedom boundaries at home and abroad in the year 1890, there was the farmer’s strike which emerged as a result of increasing insecurity and the fact that the farmers wanted to improve their conditions through the formation of the farmers alliance and believed that by doing so they would fight for their rights and freedom easily.
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Generally, there was limitation of freedom to farmers, immigrants, blacks, women and colonial subjects. In 1992 the Populist Party was formed by the formers but the party later dissolved in1896. the new court decision saw the blacks and the immigrants from the south face restrictions and further, the Chinese was were permanently exempted from stepping into the American soil this was as a result of an account that given by journalist P.S. Borney about the Chinese discrimination.
Upon witnessing what had happened, Booker t. Washington resisted the move. Joining in the same wave was the American federation of labor that assisted in the unionization process. In the light of 1898 America extended its colonial powers to Spain and continued with its imperial role of denying freedom to people in its colonies the act that was against their constitutions.
The next we had the progressive era, 1900-1916. During this period, there was urban growth and emergency of the consumer society which led to the consumer freedom. In addition, there was scientific management that saw the workers fight for high wages.
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A new generation of journalists that exposed the ills of industrial and urban life emerged, novelists also joined the trend to unmask the social ills. There was the economic freedom that was steered by the socialist party, labor unions such as the AFL and the industrial workers of the world, civil liberties and new feminism. They both believed that, economic freedom was a cornerstone to true liberation. on the other hand, there was also progressive as far as politics is concerned whereby politics took a new course that emphasized effective freedom, democracy, governed is carried out by experts and widespread of reforms this ideas were propelled later by the American presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft respectively vi)the first world war-1916-1920.
At around this time, W.E.B. Dubois became the leader of the black community and was supported by Marcus Garvey. at the wake of 1919,there was a worldwide revolutionary upsurge whereby an American labor was attacked and this let to the failure of Wilson’s drams as the senate hesitated to ratify the Versailles treaty vii)the great economic depression At first there was a great expansion in different sectors such as steel manufacturing industries, automobile, multinational cooperation, consumer goods of all kinds but the production were unequally distributed and by1929, 40 percent of the Americans population lived in poverty.
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There were many displaced farmers especially from California this was followed by the decline of labor which necessitated the propaganda campaigns between unionism and socialism, for instance in 1920 cross to 2milion Americans lost their jobs.
There was set of new deal to revisit the legislation, check the protest movements and its impacts on the minorities. the new deal had both the advantages and the limitations in that it lead to the economic recovery but at the same time, it necessitated the establishment of the second deal due to the criticism it faced. This new deal led to the establishment of the congress of industrial organization (CIO) under john Lewis. The CIO had a mandate of defining what democracy and freedom meant as far as labor was concerned.
After that, we had the second world war (fighting for freedom) - 1941-1945. During this time, writers such as Henry Luce, Henry Wallace, Frederick Hanyak and FORDS economic bill of rights defined freedom through their writings.
There was then the cold war-1945-1953 Freedom which was compared with totalitarianism. This period witnessed the establishment of the international human rights movement by the United Nations but this document about human rights of which has not been fully ratified by the United States.
After the cold world war, we had an affluent society. This period is characterized by economic progress, and the civil right movement.
At this period, there was distribution of production and the women’s role was shared by the cold war but the rights of the blanks and the minorities were still violated to a certain extent.
We then had the civil rights movement 1960 – 1968 In the 1960’s there was the civil rights movement, the Great society program and the war in Vietnam that demanded a quick change. Soon the civil right movement gathered energy and it got grassroots support and student participation John f. Kennedy is soon assassinated and Lyndon John took over and worked hard to ensure that the land rights has passed through the congress the voting rights were approved through the voting act.
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We moved to Globalization 1960 – 1968 From 1969 – 1988 presidents Richard Nixon, Reagan and Jimmy Carter, all struggled to divine what freedom ought to have been but using different methods but this become intense doing the Clinton years from 1989-2000 with the e opening of anti-globalization demonstrations this was s as a result of a challenge of balancing globalization and economic justice and freedom and this led to the declaration of ‘’global democracy’’ Clinton followed jimmy carters foot step and tied to elevate human rights both internationally and national. By the time he left office in 2001, he had high approval rating.
Finally we had a new century of crisis- post 2000 the recent events of 2009-2011 e.g. the Iraq war, the terrorist attack on America. Bush launched operation Iraq freedom. The alteration of the Americas foreign policy in 2002.Thereafter the document defined the national security as defending freedom. At this period also, the Supreme Court made two important decisions which reflected the rights revolution.