From its earliest history, the United States has been identified as the land of freedom. In 1814, Francis Scott Key touted America as the land of the free and the home of the brave in his poem that later became America’s national anthem, but explaining American freedom has been problematic throughout our nation’s history. Freedom and liberty, although not synonymous, are very closely linked and many Americans differ in defining these terms as they apply to America’s brand of freedom and the liberties they think its citizens should possess. Oddly, this battle has been waged long before America obtained its independence.
America was once the freest nation in the history of the world and set the standard for others countries to follow. It has since lost much of the freedom for which the founding cultures sacrificed their lives, fortunes and sacred honor and now America can no longer make this claim.
Evidence of this decline is objectively displayed in the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation’s 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, available at http://www.heritage.org/index/, in which America is ranked tenth behind Denmark out of 177 ranked countries. The index measures ten benchmarks of economic freedom that it defines as the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property.
The four cultural migrations out of England that established America and left their indelible cultural stamp upon it were as diverse in their ideas about freedom, liberty and social governance as any four groups of Christians could be. In spite of these differences, the descendants or the actual immigrants of the four migrations unified behind Reformed theological ideas to win independence and establish a workable national government that allowed them to preserve their individual ideas about liberty.
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