Final Essay: What does it mean to be free? What does it mean to be American?

It has been said that freedom is the defining ideal of our nation, yet it is an ideal that has been achieved unevenly – granted to some, withheld from others – throughout U.S. history.

Identify three periods in U.S. history since 1865 in which freedom has been a contested ideal. For each period, explain what freedom meant to Americans at the time. How and why did ideas about freedom change during each period? Who demanded more or less freedom? And how was freedom put into action? (i.e., extended or restricted and by what mechanisms)

Use examples to support your analysis. Your essay should be approximately four pages in length, and must be typed in 12-point font, double-spaced, using APA-style citations.


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