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Aspect of freedom
North America of the seventeenth century provides a clear understanding of what freedom entails. Many episodes happened portraying the essence of freedom. Freedom is a synonym to liberty and independence and refers to the absence of unnecessary restrictions and/or an opportunity for an individual to exercise his/her powers and rights.
People need to have freedom to choose what they deem right or correct and without any restriction from authority or individual. Therefore, people are free when they can independently decide their religious affiliations, economic systems, political groups and their social groupings without any objections or restrictions whatsoever.
North America is therefore a good example, as the people were denied freedom, witnessed in form of slavery, religious persecutions, property ownership, and indentured servants among many others. Indentured servitude provides a model in the North American during the 17th century showing one degree of freedom: the social freedom.
In pursuit of such social freedom, the servants sold their labor voluntarily for a certain period of about four to seven years after which they were freed and given freedom dues inform of cash, clothing, land and tools. In practice however, this form of providing labor was violent in that a number of English women and men were kidnapped and forced into becoming servant, which saw many die before being freed (Pope 1480). This form of servant’s is believed to have ushered in slavery.
Slavery flourished in North American during seventeen century. “Among the indigenous people in northern America, slavery was seen as a ritual of passage or away or a method of assimilating outside individuals into groups as opposed to a property or ownership right” (Pope 1482).
Slaves provided a source of labor hence they were a stimulus to economic growth of the North American. African slaves were preferred as opposed to the Indians who were familiar with the environment and less resistant to diseases like malaria. In addition, African slaves could not escape easily like the Indians.
Religious freedom also played a major role in the history of North America especially in the 17th century (Wood 86). The Roman Catholic and the Church of England had their conditions, which violated the freedom of its people. This denial of freedom made many of the European to migrate to the North America in fear of persecutions from the churches. This led to the start of the protestant churches, which were opposed to the ideologies of the Roman Catholics and the church or England.
Puritans then came up as English Protestants who wished to nurture reformation and had the passion of purifying the Church of England, which they believed to be a product or a residue of the Roman Catholic. They therefore moved in North American from England in order to have liberty and freedom to worship God as they chose. These puritans suffered a lot of agony due to their stance. Some were imprisoned and even subjected to physical abuse.
Economic freedom is another important factor in the history of northern America especially in the 17th century. It entailed concepts of free markets, welfare, and idea of private property, justice in distribution of products and freedom of the individuals and freedom to engage in collective bargaining.
Free market in perspective of economic liberty or independence implied the freedom of the people or the country to engage in production, trade, consumption of goods and services, which were acquired without any form of threats, use, theft or fraud. This degree of freedom therefore came in through “…the establishment of laws like the rule of law, property rights and freedom of contract, openness of markets, property right and economic initiative freedom” (Wood 89).
During 17th century, economic freedom in northern America was limited, as the colonialists imposed restrictions on the conduction of trade. For instance, the manufactured products were not allowed or exported to countries within the Britain’s trade empires. Exportation of products like wool, woolen cloth and yarn from one state or colony to other was also limited. This affected negatively the economic level of the northern America and hence the cry for the freedom, which was later realized.
There also exist some similarities and differences between these forms of freedoms. For instance, in the indentured servant, the people captured served as labor forces for a certain period after which they were freed. However, when it came to slavery, the slaves were subjected to physical violence, as they were supposed to work under harsh environments and were not freed from their slavery. Religious freedom was also different from other countries like England.
In northern America, there existed freedom of worship, as people were free to worship their God. The Puritans therefore found home in these parts, which led to the inception of protestant churches. The differences that existed in these versions of freedom, economic and religious is that in the economic sphere, the most important thing was labor while in the religious freedom, people wanted that liberty to make decisions for themselves about the God to worship.
Like any other society, there exist interests among different sections of the society in the governance and resource ownership. It is therefore important for those given the mandate to frame the constitution to consider all the competing interests in order to come up with a document that will be acceptable to the majority of the people to be governed by the constitution.
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In North America, the framers of the constitution had to put in mind all these competing interests for them to satisfy many of their citizens’ expectations. For instance, on the sectional interests, ownership of property was an important area especially the ownership of land.
The framers of the constitution treated private or individual property as one of the cornerstone of a free society. People would be contented when their right to own individual property is recognized in their constitution. This meant that people could work hard and acquire their own personal wealth in form of ownership of property. The framers of the constitution encountered problem in the debate of whether, the right to own property was to be validated (McDonald 46).
This led to debate whether the owners of slaves were to be compensated for their deprivation. This is an example of how the framers of the constitution encountered competing interests. Because of the fear of the breaking of civil wars, such a move of compensating the slave owners was abolished hence, serving to address the interest of inferior people.
Furthermore, the framers of the constitution also sought consent of views from various states like the Virginia, Pennsylvania that affirmed the all people had the natural, essential and inherent rights of possessing acquiring and protecting property. Therefore, they insisted that under whatsoever condition would a person be deprived of his liberty, life and be affirmed the right to gain or acquire property.
The assertions and affirmation originated from the magma Carta, which stipulated the respect of freedom or liberty of the state to respect and allow free acquisition of property. The framers of the constitution had to follow these suggestions in their coming up of the constitution. The framers also had to come up with the bill of rights, which clearly illustrated the right of every organ in the constitution that every citizen was to abide by.
The framers had to solicit views from an array of people who provided some views on the bills of rights. The bills were meant to provide guidelines on the law that was to govern the state in administering and enforcement of laws. Furthermore, the framer had to subject the constitution to the citizens for their approval (McDonald 76). The citizens were to vote for the constitution in order to approve it. This is a sign of democracy whereby the people empower themselves by either agreeing to the laws they would wish to govern them or not.
This is a fair method and an inclusive form of ensuring that every citizen is able to make a decision based on the laws to govern them. Therefore, in summary, the framers of the constitution had to consider all the interests of the society by seeking their approval to the laws. They also had to consult with all the institutions and interested groups in order to capture their interests and views. This therefore led to the coming up of a constitution that captures all the interest of the society.
Texas: People and Events Surrounding its Birth
Texas is the second largest states of the United States in terms of the population size and the area of coverage. The birth of Texas dates back from the early 1400s. Before the arrival of the first European explorers between Rio Grande and the red river were occupied by the Indians of Texas.
In the mid 1519, Alonso Alverez de Pineda a Spanish explorer sailed from Jamaica and was the first European to explore and map the coastline of Texas. In 1528, Cabeza de Vaca pitched camp on the Galveston Island, traded in the region for a period of six years, and later explored the interiors of Texas as he moved his way to Mexico. Searching for seven cities of Cibola during the years 1540-1542, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado led an expedition to the South United States across North Texas (Andrews 656).
During February 1685, Fort St. Louis was established at Matagorda Bay by Robert cavalier, Sieur de LaSalle that was to form a basis of France’s claim to Texas but unfortunately after two years LaSalle was killed by his own people. In 1689, Alonso de Leon a Mexican explorer reached Fort St. Louis and found it had been abandoned.
This was during his expedition to reestablish Spanish authority in Texas. For the whole of 18th century, Spanish people began establishing catholic missions in Texas towns like San Antonio, Nacogdoches and Goliad. In 1812, Gutierrez Magee, with around 130 strong men, went to Sabine from Louisiana during a rebel movement that was against the presence of Spanish and their rule in Texas.
During the years 1817-1820, Jean occupied Island of Galveston, which he used as his smuggling and private operations base. However, in 1823, 3 January, Stephen Austin began colonizing the region of Brazos River after being granted a grant from the Mexican government. The constitution of 1824 had some limitation since it gave Mexico republican kind of government but did state the rights of every state within the republic, Texas being inclusive.
This led to indentation of relationships between Mexico and Texas when Mexico placed restrictions of emigrations to Texas by people coming from United States. This saw the battle of velesco result in this indented relationship. After fighting for few days, Mexicans who were under leadership of Domingo de Ugartechea surrendered because of lack of weapons and ammunitions.
Dissatisfaction with polices in the Mexico City government triggered the formation of the convention of 1832 and 1833 during the period 1832-1833. Revolution began in 1835 in the battle called battle of Gonzales in which Texas reused detachment of the Mexican Calvary, the Goliad campaign of 1835 ended with the storming of 4 Texas by Ben and George Collingsworth.
A consultation was held in which a document called organic law was signed in order to reach an autonomous rule in Texas. The document outlined all the functions of the new provisional government and organization (Andrews 645). A fight by the name Grass Fight was won by Texas under the leadership of Jim and Burleson, which saw Mexicans surrender to Texas because of the siege of Bexar. Ben succumbed to death because of the extended siege.
In 1836, Texas declaration of independence was signed by convention of 1836 members, which saw the formation of an interim government for the new republic of Texas. Attacks between Mexico and Texas continued with many people succumbing to death. For instance, in 1836 around 400 Texans were killed by Mexicans in the Goliad massacre under the leadership of Santa Anna until the American troops intervened.
In 1845, President James Polk promised to Annex Texas trough signing of legislations, which made Texas to become 28th states of US. Boundary disputes cropped out which saw south boundary of Rio Grande River fixed up, payment of debts in the compromise of 1850. This saw the reconstructions of Texas begin with Texas being readmitted to the union (Andrews 630).
In 1874, the Coke Davis’ dispute ended in peace in Austin, which saw Davis relinquish governor’s office, and a democratic part dynasty was kicked by Richard Coke, which lasted unbroken for over 100 years. These counts of events have contributed to the long history of rebirth of Texas. The states then set out policies and laws, which were to govern them. The discovery of black gold in 1901 led Texas into a century of exploration of oil, and business at large.
Andrews, Gregg. Black Working-Class Political Activism and Biracial Unionism:
Galveston Longshoremen in Jim Crow Texas, 1919-1921. Journal of Southern History 74.3 (2008): 627-668.
McDonald, Forrest. We the People: The Economic Origins of the Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958.
Pope, James. Contract, Race, and Freedom of Labor in the Constitutional Law of “Involuntary Servitude”. Yale Law Journal 119.7 (2010): 1474-1567.
Wood, Nicholas. A Sacrifice on the Alter of Slavery. Doughface Politics and Black Disenfranchisement in Pensilvania, 1837-1838. Journal of the Early Republic 31.1 (2011): 75-106.