Notes on Freedom: Individual Liberty vs. Government Tyranny, 18th Century and Today

Special Publications | Government

Wednesday, November 01, 2000
by Glenn Mitchell

The principles of the American political process were slowly being fonnulated in the decades before the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution of the United States of America. The sources were largely English and had a profound impact on Americans of the 18th century. The Framers left us with an intellectual heritage in which rights flow from one's nature as a human being. By adherence to the rule of law, private property and individuals are protected from the potential tyranny of the many (democracy) and the totalitarianism or authoritarianism of the few (central control, collectivism). To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, Liberty requires continuous diligence to preserve freedom.

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