Voltaire stated that doing what makes you happy means being free. What is freedom for you? Somebody once said that freedom is when you can go out to the street and shout out loud anything you want. Another person said that freedom is when you do everything you want and go everywhere you want. They are both right to some extend because freedom is not a material thing; freedom is something bigger and higher than that. Freedom is difficult for us to explain because we live in free society, and it is hard to figure it out. But people, who lived in the years of wars, definitely knew what freedom is. They were fighting for it, because they clearly understood that freedom is necessary for everyone, and if they would not start fighting for freedom at that time, than they would never start.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves” (Eugene W. Hickok Jr., 1991). The Bill of Rights was the first document that gave almost whole specter of human rights that we have today. This constitution incorporated the main ideas of French and English philosophers and enlighteners, and in particular John Locke. The main thesis of The Declaration of Independence states, “All people are equal, and created by God the same, and everyone has rights for life, for freedom, and right for treatment. And every time when the government to avoid performing their duties, the people can rise against the government, and change it!” Thomas Jefferson was the creator of The Declaration of Independence. He could not include the rights of own property, because he believed that you earn your property, similar to the education. The document included three main rights: right for life, right for freedom, and right for pursuit of happiness. This document proclaimed that principle of national sovereignty is a basis for government control, which includes collective rights for people to revolt against oppression. The Declaration of Independent 1776 was the first document, which mentioned human rights in USA.
Initially, the government of USA was confederation, based on the agreement between states. There was no president, no senate, and no Supreme Court. After the end of American War of Independence (1775-1783), more influential politics saw it as a temporary period, and they wanted the federal republic with strong center and national constitution. This idea was born in the atmosphere of post-war, economic decline, and chaos. The states were acting individually and could not establish trade and stabilize finances. The important argument for change of government was internal instability and danger of national revolution. The National Constitution was formed in summer of 1787. The main minds of the country, as a G. Washington, B. Franklin and others, created a new history.
George Washington (1732-1799) was born in Virginia. He dedicated his childhood and youth to study by himself, because his family was poor and could not afford school. Washington is one of the first people, who created national history of the USA. He made a huge contribution to unite thirteen colonies in the Union of Sovereign Republic and then into first modern federal state. In Virginia and at the continental congress, he was the person who was against the English colonial politics. As a commander of American forces, he performed military resistance that after eight years of war led to the independence. George Washington was convinced about the importance of strong central government, it played one of the central roles of the creation of the new constitution, and as a president, and he created the basis for the republic federal government where Americans could find national agreement. His main characteristics were self-control, and self-discipline. He was conservative and had a prudent temperament, religious enough, without special interest to a technical issue, but ready to accept new ideas, and combined English past mind with modern ideas of the enlightenment. He was making important military decision after detailed conversation with trusted people. Washington realized that he was on the nationalistic side, headed by the A. Hamilton and J. Madison. As Hamilton, Washington was so inspired by the mixed constitution of the English model which provided national interests. By the days dedicated to constitution 1788, Washington was a captain of new huge government ship that showed to people that he is the right person to become a president. The supreme aim of Washington was for a new constitution to work as clockwork. For this purpose, he wanted to use the full range of constitution capabilities that the president can use. He thought that if he is the first president of new county, he should do more useful things than others, and then the train will be running by his rule. Washington died in December 17th, 1799. He said, “Arbitrary power is the most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness”. (Laurie Calkhoven, 2007). He was 67 years old. In one of the many funeral ceremonies, that were around the country, his close friend Henry Lee described him as a person who was first in the war, first in peace, and first in the heart. The last will of the president was to let all slaves go which belonged to his wife after his death. Washington has rejected slaves as incompatible with the principles of the constitution, but it was impossible to cancel slavery.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was born in Boston and was the fifteenth child in his family. Franklin came to Philadelphia when he was seventeen, and it became his hometown. Later, he bought printing house. Since early childhood he showed many abilities as a self-discipline, initiative, and perseverance. He was one of the all Father’s sons, who signed three main documents in the USA history. In the middle of the 1760, he came to London as a delegate from Pennsylvania and stayed there until the American National Revolution. One of the main human rights
Franklin recognized that people had to participate in formation of the political power. The main road to implementation of this right in enlightenment ideology was social contract. In political American dictionary, concept-is the social contract yield to the word constitution. Franklin fallowed by the agrarian democratic way of the USA, and knew that America will go by this way over the next century. “A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats” Benjamin Franklin. (Edwin S. Gaustant, 2006).Franklin considered, the industrial-trade way was a utopia. For democrats America was a domestic industry country, and it led farmers to wear themselves and exclude city factory and foreign products. In the Franklin conception there was a thesis of American dream, that everybody, even poor beggars can become economically independent.
The successor of Franklin was unanimously elected Jefferson. Author of The Declaration of Independence remembered that, later when somebody asked him how he replaced Franklin he said that nobody can replace Franklin because everything that Franklin began he did finish perfectly. Benjamin Franklin stated, “All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse” (Blaine McCormick, 2006).
These people created, shaped and influenced the history. They fought for freedom and tried to make a better future for us. Following their examples we should understand that we are creators of our future, and what we do, what we speak, what we read and what we watch today effect our future.