Eric Foner The Story Of American Freedom Questions

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Rebecca Gertler 11th Grade Summer HW Questions for Eric Foner’s The Story of American Freedom 1. Where does the American idea of freedom or liberty originate? The original idea of freedom in America was brought by the first puritan settlers in colonial Massachusetts, and was a spiritual thing, as oppose to religious or social. Many of these settlers’ original goal in the colonies was obtain a religious freedom they were not granted in England. They believed in Christianity and thought that their faith in it and in God gave them freedom. In this definition “Freedom meant abandoning this life of sin to embrace the teachings of Christ. ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is,’ declares the New Testament, ‘there is liberty.’” This idea was sustained…show more content…
It was initially believed property allowed independence and therefor freedom, so without property one could not truly be free. In fact in 1744 James Wilson, a Pennsylvanian jurist, wrote that “freedom and dependence [were] opposite and irreconcilable terms.” This demonstrated the belief that if one were unable to obtain the economic independence that property offered, they could not truly be free. However as the revolution began it was soon decided that property was not just tangible things and goods, but rather the intangible rights which were promised to the free, creating a loop of freedom and property and while making the two somewhat interchangeable, also expanding their definitions and applicability. In 1787 at the Constitutional Convention Madison affirmed that “A man, has property in his opinions and the free communication of them, he has property in…the safety and liberty of his person.” This officialized that while property is a prerequisite to freedom, every human being has property in his or her own thoughts and the liberties guaranteed by the

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