The definition of liberty to me is still best expressed by Thomas Jefferson, who once gave us the following definition: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” This definition of liberty was and still is the foundation for us to follow. I would like to expand on what liberty meant to our Founding Fathers. Depending on what historian you would like to refer to, I would like to settle on what I consider the core group of Founding Fathers: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington. (Bernstein) Leading up to the Revolutionary War, one has to look back to the conflict between France and England, know in Europe as the Seven Years’ War. Those countries were fighting for dominance in world trade and naval power. By spilling over to North America, it became a conflict bringing into the battle the Iroquois, later known as the French and Indian war in North America. For the first two years of the war, the colonists had been left to their own affairs and to fight on their own, with little or no success. The war effort in North America was now brought under total British control. The British forcibly enlisted colonists to fight; they seized supplies and equipment form farmers and compelled the colonists to offer shelter to British troops, without compensation. This almost brought the war to a halt, but the British relaxed many of the policies that the colonist objected to, and with some control going back to the colonists and an influx of more British troops, the war turned in favor of the British. At the end of this battle, it brought the British authority in closer contact with the colonists than ever before. This would have a profound effect on the...
References: Bernstein, R. B. (2009). The Founding Fathers Reconsidered. New York, NY: Oxford Press.
Brinkley, A. (2011). American History (14th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
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