Liberty can have multiple meanings it depends on who you ask. It is the freedom to and freedom from. Freedom to it is your right to have a personal freedom, to do as you wish. Freedom from is your right to write speak and act freely without fear of threat.
Before and During the Civil War the overwhelming definition of the word liberty was one of an economic nature. After the Civil War this shifted to more social/personal definition. Economic liberty has to do with the distribution and exchange of resources. Social/Personal liberty has more to do with the independence of the individual right against overextending government or state authority. The main issue with economic liberty was the arguments of labor, trade, and property.
The ideas that liberty had a lot to do with trade and labor made a lot of sense during the time period. The idea of freedom came from the idea that you work for the right to own you own property, which in turn lead to power. If you had the ability to do as you wish, especially having to do with trade and labor it opened up more opportunity. For example, if th...
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