Liberty has a history that shows that it varies with time and place. In England prior to the Habeas Corpus Act (1679) a person could be seized and kept in prison indefinitely without trial or hearing. The common-law prohibition of conspiracy as dangerous to domestic peace and order was invoked far into the 19th cent. to limit the right of association in labor unions. Specifically political liberties, such as the general right to vote and to hold public office, were practically unknown before the 19th cent., when they were achieved by the liberal movement in England. The same is true of such civil liberties as freedom of speech and of the press. Freedom of conscience, the right of private judgment in religious matters, and the right to worship with groups of one's own choosing were nonexistent prior to the Protestant Reformation and still limited in most places for a long time afterward.
Liberty has found philosophical expression in individualism and anarchism (an extreme form of individualism) and in nationalism. Such philosophers as John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau popularized the conception of the individual as having certain natural rights that could not be denied or taken away by society or by any external authority, rights that Thomas Jefferson spoke of in the Declaration of Independence as "unalienable" and that were embodied in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. Rousseau especially thought of them as the rights possessed by people living in a "state of nature" and not surrendered, only modified, in the social contract by which they agreed to live together in society.
Political scientists point out that even in a state of nature people are subject to the law of nature and that the rights enjoyed by them in society are historically acquired and not natural except in a strictly social sense. Liberties are acquired through the joining of like-minded individuals to gain special privileges for themselves. Thus, through Magna Carta the English barons in 1215 wrested from King John certain freedoms that in time they had to share with the rest of the people.
The history of liberty in the later Middle Ages is that of numerous corporate groups, such as guilds of artisans and merchants, winning immunity from external control. By agreements with their feudal overlords these groups obtained release from certain feudal dues and bonds, gaining a limited freedom to carry on trade and manufacture, which formed the nucleus of the liberties extended to the bourgeoisie in the 19th cent. Some ethnic minorities, as in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, were able by a show of strength to gain legal status for their language and culture as well as assurance of some political rights. Freedom to follow the trade or profession of one's inclination, as of women to practice medicine, denied in most societies, was gained only in recent times. The feminist movement in the 19th and 20th cent. is a good example of the attempt to gain such rights.
The acquired nature of rights—their dependence on conditions of time and place—also makes them peculiarly subject to danger of loss. Liberties have had to be defended against encroachment, and sometimes populations have had their liberties curtailed. In times of national danger some rights may be suspended, as was the right of habeas corpus by President Abraham Lincoln in the American Civil War, and the struggle for rights not yet acquired may be discontinued.
The freedom for self-expression, as distinguished from the freedom from external restraint, has become increasingly important to the notion of liberty. Since medieval times liberty has been increased by the gradual but advancing removal of restraints once imposed by church and state, by custom and law; in the 20th cent. attention was turned to the creation of certain conditions regarded as necessary if individuals are to develop their fullest potential. The idea of equality, emphasized by the philosophers of the French Revolution, came to be closely associated with the idea of liberty in democratic societies—not equality based on a supposed equality of ability but equality of opportunity. Inequality, especially economic inequality, was held to be as great an obstacle to individual development as any form of external restraint. Therefore it was proposed that the state should seek to equalize as far as possible the conditions in such areas as education, health, and housing, thereby establishing economic and social security, and freedom from want and fear, so that every individual might have equal opportunity for self-realization.
The right of national groups to be independent and sovereign has also come to be regarded as a principle of liberty. Since 1945, more than 50 former colonial areas have become independent states (see imperialism). The UN Commission on Human Rights has sought to promote the extension of political and cultural liberty throughout the world through treaties and covenants, the most important of which has been the Declaration of Human Rights.
See J. S. Mill, On Liberty (1859, repr. 1972); H. Butterfield, Liberty in the Modern World (1952); S. Hook, Political Power and Personal Freedom (1959, repr. 1962); M. R. Konvitz, ed., Aspects of Liberty (1958, repr. 1965) and Expanding Liberties (1967); J. M. Swomley, Liberation Ethics (1972); J. David and R. B. McKay, ed., The Blessings of Liberty (1989); E. Foner, The Story of American Freedom (1998).
The base of the statue is an 11-pointed star, part of old Fort Wood; a 150-ft (45-m) pedestal, built through American funding, is made of concrete faced with granite. On it is a tablet, affixed in 1903, inscribed with "The New Colossus," the famous sonnet of Emma Lazarus, welcoming immigrants to the United States. By the early 20th cent, this greeting to the arriving stranger had become the statue's primary symbolic message. Broadening in its meaning, the statue became a symbol of America during World War I and a ubiquitous democratic symbol during World War II. An elevator runs to the top of the pedestal, and steps within the statue lead to the crown, but the public has not been permitted to climb to crown since Sept., 2001, when access to the statue was restricted for reasons of security and, subsequently, safety. The statue was extensively refurbished prior to its centennial celebration in 1986. The Statue of Liberty became a national monument in 1924. In 1965, Ellis Island, the entrance point of millions of immigrants to the United States, was added to the monument.
See M. Trachtenberg, The Statue of Liberty (1976); W. S. Dillon, ed., The Statue of Liberty Revisited: Making a Universal Symbol (1994); B. Moreno, The Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia (2000).
Laws passed by U.S. states in the North to counter the Fugitive Slave Acts. Such states as Indiana (1824) and Connecticut (1828) enacted laws giving escaped slaves the right to jury trials on appeal. Vermont and New York (1840) assured fugitives the right of jury trial and provided them with attorneys. Other states forbade state authorities to capture and return fugitives. After the Compromise of 1850, most Northern states enacted further guarantees of jury trials and punishment for illegal seizure. These laws were cited by proslavery interests as assaults on states' rights and as justification for secession.
Learn more about personal-liberty laws with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Historic site in New York Harbor, New York and New Jersey, U.S. Covering 58 ac (23 ha), it includes the Statue of Liberty (on Liberty Island [formerly Bedloe's Island]) and nearby Ellis Island. The colossal statue, Liberty Enlightening the World, was sculpted by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated in 1886. This 305-ft (93-m) statue of a woman holding a tablet and upraised torch was given to the U.S. by France and commemorates the friendship of the two countries; a plaque at the pedestal's entrance is inscribed with the sonnet “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus. The Statue of Liberty was declared a national monument in 1924 and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984; Ellis Island, containing the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, was added to the monument in 1965.
Learn more about Statue of Liberty National Monument with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Organization of American colonists formed in 1765 to oppose the Stamp Act. The name was taken from a speech by Isaac Barré in the British Parliament that referred to American colonials who opposed unjust British measures as “sons of liberty.” The group agitated for colonial resistance and helped prevent enforcement of the Stamp Act. After the act's repeal, the organization continued to oppose British measures against the colonists.
Learn more about Liberty, Sons of with a free trial on Britannica.com.
An Early History of Liberty Township from 1875 atlas
In 2004 The Liberty Baseball Team won its first game of the season thanks to an extra inning walk-off home run by catcher Shawn Henninger. Henninger was a Quincy all area honorable mention and PCC Conference 1st team selection that year.
Home of the 1980-81 IHSA Class A Basketball 4th Place and 2004-05 IHSA Class A 4th Place teams.
"NEW HOME OF KLOPHJUY and Family"
There were 212 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 13.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.79.
In the village the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were males.
The median income for a household in the village was $36,417, and the median income for a family was $39,773. Males had a median income of $31,071 versus $20,962 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,565. About 10.7% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 40.7% of those age 65 or over.
During the many Illinois hunting seasons (bow, rifle, etc.) Mike welcomes countless people in from all around the country to enjoy the Adams County abundance of white tail deer. Known for opening up "before the roosters do" everbody gets a large, wholesome meal in their belly - perfect for an all day walk in the area's wildlife rich woods. See this kind fella's blog (for a great review!) http://davidacrossamerica.blogspot.com/2007/05/day-20-quincy-ill-to-springfieldill-107.html -Shockwave-