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The heart of the American Revolution
or give me
DEFINED AS FREEDOM FROM THE MONARCHY, NOT OF SOMETHING
- RELIGION, HABEAS CORPUS, SPEECH, PRESS,
PETITION, TRIAL BY JURY, ETC.
King John, treaty between barons and king.
Freedom from interference by other people.
Led to Bill of Rights:
Both proponents and opponents of Constitution thought a Bill of
Rights was in order.
1791 - seen as “explicit
confirmations of views of
framers on individual
Most people were looking
for a weak or small
BILL OF RIGHTS
NSA is looked upon as infringing liberty
Edward Snowden was a whistle blower
- he had to flee the US government
"Citizens should use the government that they are in to achieve
“not merely life alone, but the good life”"
Despite the modern understanding of liberty positive freedom was
important at the time of the revolution.
The Virginia delegation advocated for positive and negative liberty
at the continental congress.
The Virginia delegation advocated for both Locke and Aristotle’s
ideas of freedom.
"That elections of members to serve as
representatives of the people, in assembly ought to be
free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of
permanent common interest with, and attachment to,
the community, have the right of suffrage and cannot
be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses
without their own consent or that of their
representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to
which they have not, in like manner, assembled for
the public good."
- The Virginia Declaration of Rights, Section 6
“That all power of suspending laws, or the
execution of laws, by any authority, without
consent of the representatives of the people, is
injurious to their rights and ought not to be
- The Virginia Declaration of Rights, Section 7
The Interaction Between
Positive and Negative
positive freedom was
considered a prerequisite for
Locke’s negative freedom.
Positive freedom was not
explicit in the constitution.
However, it is heavily
While the founders believed in positive freedom they did
not believe that a republic was immune to bad governance.
The Electoral College and the requirement to own property
were the founder’s ideas to preserve good governance.
Benjamin Franklin disagreed with the requirement to own
Limited Suffrage and Good
“Some of the greatest
rogues he was ever
acquainted with were
the richest rogues.”
- Benjamin Franklin
He believed the right to vote should be determined by a
person’s morals not their race, gender, or socioeconomic status.
No barriers to universal suffrage were included in the
Liberty as per
"The broad and growing
freedom of individuals from
tyrannies and restraints of
The framers were attracted by an "open
society" they were also deeply affected by
the ancient idea of
Devotees of the
classical ideal of
participating freely and
responsabily in their
If these are exercised properly they
lead to the great liberty of people
COLLECTING TAXES FOR DEFENSE AND WELFARE
PROVIDING POSTAL SERVICE
PROTECTING PATENTS AND COPYRIGHTS
ORGANIZE AND COMMAND THE ARMED FORCES
JUDICIAL POWER TO SETTLE DISPUTES
"A dangerous ambition more
often lurks behind the
specious mask of zeal for the
rights of the people than
under the forbidding
appearance of zeal for the
firmness and efficiency of