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Identify the historical significance related to the theme of freedom - Essay Example

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Identify the historical significance related to the theme of freedom
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Identify the historical significance related to the theme of freedom

“The Cornerstones of History, a book written by Thomas A. Scott, is quote “ a collection of fifty-nine primary documents presents multiple viewpoints on more than four centuries of growth, conflict, and change in Georgia. The selections range from a captive's account of a 1597 Indian revolt against Spanish missionaries on the Georgia coast to an impassioned debate in 1992 between county commissioners and environmental activists over a proposed hazardous waste facility in Taylor County. Drawn from such sources as government records, newspapers, oral histories, personal diaries, and letters, the documents give a voice to the concerns and experiences of men and women representing the diverse races, ethnic groups, and classes that, over time, have contributed to the state's history.” In Eric Foner’s, “The Story of American Freedom”, Foner’s idea of freedom can be quote, “summed up in this very quote, his saying that it is ‘the oldest of cliches and the most modern of aspirations.’” “However, what does it truly mean to be free? For the people of the United States, the concept of "freedom” and its counterpart, "liberty” has had widely differing meanings during the centuries. The Story of American Freedom, therefore, "is not a mythic saga with a predetermined beginning and conclusion, but an open-ended history of accomplishment and failure, a record of a people forever contending about the crucial ideas of their political culture." During the colonial era, Foner projects freedom to be comprised of the event, when the “Puritans believed that liberty was rooted in voluntary submission to God and civil authorities, and consisted only in the right to do well.” John Locke, as well, would argue that liberty did not consist of a lack of restraint, but of “a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power.” Foner reveals the ideological conflicts that lay at the heart of the American Revolution and the Civil War, the shift in thought about what freedom is and to whom it should be granted. Adeptly charting the major trends of Twentieth Century American politics, including the invocation of freedom as a call to arms in both world wars, Foner concludes by contrasting the two prevalent movements of the 1990s: the liberal articulation of freedom, grounded in Johnson's Great Society and the rhetoric of the New Left, as the provision of civil rights and economic opportunity for all citizens, and the conservative vision, perhaps most fully realized during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, of a free-market economy and decentralized political power. “The Story of American Freedom” is a sweeping synthesis, delivered in clearheaded language that makes the ongoing nature of the American dream accessible to all readers (Ron Hogan). According to the Atlanta Journal of Constitution, “The book's aim is to increase understanding of southern history as a whole by focusing on a single state. New chapters added since the 1983 first edition discusses urbanization and diversification.” “’The Journal of American History’” says quote “that the book, ‘The Creation of Modern Georgia, informed by the latest scholarship, particularly the last decade's studies of the South in the thirty years following the Civil War, his work is an ambitious attempt to understand Southern history through a study of one state.’” “Bartley's is a stimulating interpretive synthesis, but one that does not lose itself ... Read More
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