In Lecture 1, we explored how “liberty” was interpreted by the Founders of the American Constitution. They were influenced by political writers who stated that liberty is always at risk and must be protected by the citizens. John Locke argued that liberty be protected through a contract (the Constitution) between the government and the people. He went on to say that government only exists because of the people, because they created it.
While our founding fathers realized government was necessary to protect the citizens from criminals and outsiders (Lecture 2, comments about the King of England), they were concerned with amount of power the government should be given. When the Constitution was drafted it included the following:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” (as cited in “Preamble to the Constitution,” n.d.).
However, as the proposed constitutions went to the individual colonies for ratification, concerns about the power granted to government were raised. To ensure that the people maintained power, the first Ten (10) Amendments (also called: The Bill of Rights) were added.
Review this week’s lectures and the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. Make sure to watch the supplemental video as well.
Write a one to two page essay addressing the question: “what does liberty mean to you?”
As in all your weekly written assignments, be sure to tie your writing to the readings for that week. You should strive to demonstrate to your instructor (and to the rest of the university) your full understanding of this. Don’t just answer the question but really think it through. How will your ideas fit within Locke’s “social contract?”
Submit your work as an attached file. Double-space your paper and use 12 point Times New Roman as your font.