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    Liberty: Definition and Meaning

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    Can you please define and explain the meaning of liberty?

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:27 pm ad1c9bdddf
    https://brainmass.com/history/american-legal-and-constutional-history/definition-meaning-liberty-571334

    SOLUTION This solution is FREE courtesy of BrainMass!

    Liberty means, by dictionary definition:
    "1. freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
    2. freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
    3. freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
    4. freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint: The prisoner soon regained his liberty.
    5. permission granted to a sailor, especially in the navy, to go ashore." (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberty)
    And while those definitions hold true (depending on context), the question as to the meaning of the term usually revolves around how such liberty actually works.

    In other words, take for example the statement in the Declaration of Independence, that people have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." What exactly did Jefferson (and the other politicians of the time) mean by "liberty" in that context? Did they mean freedom from foreign rule? If so, did that mean only that? Many American citizens now (and in fact even Locke himself, whose work the Declaration is based upon) would argue more for definition 3 above, as one might be able to tell from myriad arguments over government-wrought surveillance or security measures. In fact, many at the time of Jefferson may have meant the term more along the lines of definition 1, and for this reason many have automatically assumed that in asserting independence, the U.S. was labeling Britain despotic. This would naturally only heighten tensions, not resolve the question of independence peacefully.

    How one secures liberty, whether or not liberty needs to be practical to have meaning, and how important liberty is according to the definition chosen for it are all open after discussing the term itself. So as one can see, the definition both varies and raises plenty of new questions.

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:27 pm ad1c9bdddf>
    https://brainmass.com/history/american-legal-and-constutional-history/definition-meaning-liberty-571334

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