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Are We Free? Essay

1689 words - 7 pages

John Locke stated that every individual has unalienable natural rights given at birth. As humans, we have the right to life, liberty, and property. In Locke social contract theory, we get the notion on how this theory works in defining and analyzing what freedom means. As a society, we are free to a certain extent. In order for a society to co-exist, people have to give up their sovereignty to a government in order to receive benefits and maintain social order. Without an authority of a government, life would be “nasty, brutish, and short”, according to Locke. As a society, we cannot run around like animals. An anarchist type government to achieve complete freedom would not triumph in any society. In this essay, I will discuss and explain how we as a society believe that we are living in “free society” when truly were not, how I define my freedom, and what freedom probably meant to Henry George, Thomas Edison, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Woodrow Wilson.
Post Civil war marked a rebirth of a nation. For certain individuals the notion of being free finally had significant meaning. The African-Americans for the first time were liberated from the shackles they once possess. The once former slaves were now able to own land, attend school, establish churches, and had a political voice. The United States Constitution now offered equal protection of the laws for African-American citizens. Three key amendments would make this possible were; the 13th amendment which abolished slavery in the United States, the 14th amendment that offered equal protection of the laws, and the 15th amendment which gave the right to all males to vote.
The rights of women movement during the Reconstruction opened a new door for them for the first time. For the first time, we have a Feminism movement. No longer were women of America staying at home as housewives. Charlotte Perkins Gilman makes this clear that women should no longer face oppression in the workforce or only be a servant to the husband and children. Women also wanted to make their mark in our society and during WWII, who were the ones that kept America moving forward? The women of America kept us going and Gilman helped women by changing the norms about them. Women are able to make something out of their lives and not to only stay as house wives. In her book, Women and Economics, Gilman wrote about how the new women’s movement would affect the roles of women for their survival. Gilman book would lead for a new path for women’s freedoms of what they can accomplish both in the work environment and at home Women fought for equal work opportunities and equal pay in the workforce. Women were also in control of their own body with freedom of sexual expression and reproductive choices. With women joining the labor market, we have the birth control movement in which prevented the unwanted of a child. During this time there was a strong emphasis of sex education and information on contraception for women....

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