The Definition, Meaning, and Value of American Freedom

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In my own opinion, the definition of freedom represents something far greater than the right to act – securing the right of every person an equal chance for liberty, pursuit of happiness as well as opportunities in life. From the articles presented, it is apparent the value of freedom cannot be overstated – it is the bedrock that provides those who thrive in western democracies the capabilities to live as they wish. The laws and rights that are available today have not come absent cost – our great grandfathers paid dearly for it. In almost every nation across the globe, people have the right to worship, express themselves, own property, move from place to place and also gender equality (Hayek 10). These freedoms and rights are the frameworks of the value of American freedom. In the past, the citizens were denied all these rights. For instance, during the civil war, many nations were torn by war and no person was safe (Hayek 13).

The Values of Religious Liberty

The religious freedom can be defined as the right to choose or not to choose a specific religion without government interference. Religious freedom forms the most crucial aspect of American freedom. The United States has been centered and established via religious freedom and toleration (Sayeed 6). Without the freedom of worship, the citizens will be forced to act in accordance with the policies and statutes that patently dispute their beliefs. This can make them live their lives struggling between obeying the statutes that have been placed before them and their personal beliefs. Before the 17th Century, Europe was marred by religious persecution (Francis, n.p.). However, when Willian Penn rose to power in 1680, he ensured that every person enjoyed his or her spiritual freedom – he ratified statute that allowed Christians to lead the country executively and legislatively. The religious freedom matters to every society because the amount of religious liberty we possess has ramifications on our capacity to succeed. Additionally, without religious freedom is a nation is bound to lose its civil liberties – the freedom of worship has been regarded as a criterion of those liberties (Sayeed 10). It is also worth noting that strong families and religious freedom have been partners in American history. Finally, religious freedom allows for faith to be lived out at work.

The freedom of worship is a fundamental right of every person in this world. It is recognized by the Second Vatican Council and also the international accords. The U.S. has spearheaded the promotion of religious liberty via the foreign policy - 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) (Sayeed 18). The statute maintains that it is the duty of the United States government to criticize any violation of the religious freedom and that it will assist the other regimes in promoting this important right. The first amendment of the American constitution asserts that Congress shall never make any law that establishes a specific religion or prohibits the exercise of religious liberty (Sayeed 19). Therefore, religion is an imperative aspect of the American freedom which maintains the state of a country in balance.

The Values of Freedom of Expression

From the article titled “The Independent Reflector on Limited Monarchy and Liberty,” it is apparent that a bureaucratic government which does not value democracy prohibits the press to prevent complains (The Independent Reflector n.p.). Media has been regarded as one of four pillars of a democratic nation. As such, it is not supposed to be controlled by the state – a free media is the voice of the people. However, it is undeniable that in contemporary society, some of the media corporations do not act like they are peoples’ voice but as the mouthpiece of political parties (Inglehart 42). Nevertheless, the media should have the right to tell the people the truth about what is taking place in the country.

Freedom of expression does not just safeguard the liberty of a person from the state’s intrusion, it also protects the freedom of an individual to communicate with other entities. A person has the right to take part in activities that are deeply social in character which encompasses the utilization of community resources and socially created languages (Moon n.p.). The freedom of expression is acknowledged as the right of a human being under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – the government should not abridge the freedom of the press or the freedom of speech. Additionally, article 19 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights (UDHR) states that every person has the democratic right to hold opinions without any interference (Hodge 184). It also maintains that each individual has the freedom to express himself or herself. The freedom of expression is invaluable because it liberates people and teaches them to think critically outside of the traditional values. The capacity to speak freely as well as express your ideas is necessary for bringing about change in the society and hence freedom of expression underpins the other human rights promoting the progress and development of a country (Hodge 185).

There are different arguments for safeguarding the freedom of expressing oneself. Nevertheless, all they appear to concentrate on one or amalgamation of three values: individual autonomy, truth, and democracy (Moon n.p.). Protecting the freedom of expression is necessary for the reason that it contributes to the recognition of public truth or increase in public knowledge or is crucial to the manner in which a democratic government operates as well as self-realization (Moon n.p.). The commitment to the liberty of expressing oneself – which extends the protection to artistic, political, scientific and intimate expression – have to rest on the impact it makes to the three values altogether.

Gender Equality

The article was written by Judith Sargent Murray concerning “The Equality of the Sexes” is the foundation to comprehending the values of gender equality (Murray n.p.). Gender equality is a state of equal access to opportunities and resources including economic decision making and participation as well as the state of valuing various aspirations, behaviors and needs equally irrespective of gender. In June 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mothers and fathers should have the same residency requirements to pass on the citizen to the kids who are born abroad (Equality Now n.p.). The ruling was for the Sessions v. Morales-Santana to deal with sex prejudice in the Immigration and Nationality Act. According to UNICEF, gender equity means that girls and boys, as well as men and women, enjoy the same protections, resources, and opportunities (Diehl, Matthias and Kerstin 16). Researchers indicate that when the European Union embraced gender equality has a robust positive implication on the GDP growth with time – there is higher productivity and level of employment. Additionally, gender equality ensures that the aging population's issues are dealt with. Closing the gender gap is a priority in reducing poverty within the policy circles – research shows that women are key decision makers in political matters compared to their male counterparts.

The Values of Freedom of Peace and Movement

The article by Alexander Henry about the travels and adventure in Canada and the Indian Territories amid 1760 and 1776 demonstrates the significances of peace and freedom of movement. The Indian revolt to the British resulted in the death of many innocent civilians. However, Indians made it abundantly clear that they will never be treated as slaves. After more than seven years which caused a lot of bloodshed and annihilation of citizens in cold blood, a peace treaty was created. This was a turning point in the rights of human being. Peace is an important aspect of freedom and all the other liberties flows as long as there is peace (Guillermet et al 1). The most critical human rights are usually denied when there is no peace – the right to protection, dignity, self – expression, and safety. Additionally, lack of peace itself can erase identity hence it must be the ultimate goal of any nation. The ratification of the right to peace was done in December 2016 by the United Nations General Assembly. The first article of the resolution maintains that every person has the right to enjoy peace (Guillermet et al 2). Right to peace is an important milestone in global transformation.

The freedom of movement involves the right travel from one place to the other and also from one country to another. In the past, people were denied the right to move from one place to the other or from one nation to the other. According to Rogers Williams in the “Letter to the Town of Providence,” he has been denied the right to enter Massachusetts Bay Colony because he told the colonist to procure the Indian land before occupying it. When we relate this scenario in today’s society, civilization had led to the creation of laws which allows individuals to move to any place as long as they have valid reasons and documents (. The slavery and colonization put people in a dungeon whereby their creativity and other rights like the right to education were taken from them. According to Mary Livermore on the article “Women and War,” when the civil war ended and many laws were sanctioned, people looked for jobs in various factories, others got educated and improved their living standards. The nations developed – freedom of movements created new opportunities in employment, law, and education

The Values of Freedom of Conscience

One of the important rights that William Penny noted was abridged was the freedom of conscience. He stated that no person can be happy if he or she is denied the freedom of conscience, even if he or she is allowed to enjoy all the other civil liberties. William Penny, therefore, creates a platform for discussing the freedom of conscience. It is a conception which has been described in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights. Every individual has freedom of conscience, thought, and religion. The article presents examples of these rights. For instance, every citizen has the right to change his or her religion and also is permitted to manifest his or her religion (Havel & John 66). The manner in which a person is supposed to manifest his or her religion is also elucidated: “either in community with the other people, or alone and in private or public” and in practice, observance, worship, and teaching. It is worth noting that this idea means that everybody has freedom of conscience, religion, and belief – it is not supposed to be hampered. It shows that everyone is free to have any standpoint, belief and thought irrespective of the thoughts or entities around him (Havel & John 68). One thing is crystal clear in this case – it is not the freedom of ‘expression’ but rather the freedom of ‘conscience.’


To sum it up, I have learned that the success of any nation is dependent on the implementation of the right of worship for the reason that it has remained to be a fundamental right to every single person since time immemorial. I have comprehended the freedom of expression has played a significant role in bringing about the changes that are seen in a nation. Further, the issue of gender equality has to be taken seriously seen women are key decision makers in economics and political matters. Every nation should ensure that women are given equal opportunities like men. It was also evident from the discussion that the freedom of movement and peace allows people to look for jobs, be educated and pursue their careers – such things develop a country. The freedom of expression also is important and it has resulted in a lot of creativity which has seen the state of many countries change positively. However, it is the implementation of all these rights that keeps a society at a balance.

Work Cited

"The Value of Freedom."HuffPost, 7 Oct. 2014,

Diehl, Claudia, Matthias Koenig, and Kerstin Ruckdeschel. "Religiosity and gender equality: comparing natives and Muslim migrants in Germany."Gender, Race, and Religion. Routledge, 2014. 75-98.

Equality Now. "The US Supreme Court Rules for Gender Equality!"Equality Now,

Guillermet Fernandez, Christian, Donna J. Perry, and David Fernández Puyana. "The right to peace: from ratification to realization."Health and Human Rights Journal (2017).

Havel, Vaclav, and John Keane. "The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central Eastern Europe: Citizens Against the State in Central Eastern Europe."(2016).

Hayek, Friedrich August. The constitution of liberty. Routledge, 2014.

Hodge, Pam. "Freedom of expression."The Lancet Psychiatry1.3 (2014): 183-184.

Inglehart, Ronald. The silent revolution: Changing values and political styles among Western publics. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Kesti, Eline. "The effect of gender equality in education on economic growth."(2018).

Moon Richard. "The Social Character of Freedom of Expression | Moon."Amsterdam Law Forum,

Saeed, Abdullah. Freedom of religion, apostasy, and Islam. Routledge, 2017.

November 24, 2023


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American History

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