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How Did the British Colonists Define Liberty During the Colonial Period?

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How Did The British Colonists Define Liberty During The Colonial Period?

The Oxford American English dictionary defined liberty as - The state of being free within society from oppression restriction imposed by authority on one's way of life behavior, or political views. The British colonist idea of Liberty during the colonial era was forged on the concept of personal independence and freedom. During this period, liberty was directly connected to land ownership, voting right, social and religious freedom.

Most of the British colonist came to America voluntarily, with the anticipation that life in the new found lands would offer them an opportunity to improve their social, moral, and economic living conditions in general. According to Thomas More, in His book Utopia, a novel set on an imaginary island in the Western Hemisphere, he depicted America as a place of escape from the economic inequalities in Europe. The new found world was seen as a place of independence from decades of religious persecution, class and social imbalance that permeated every aspect of living in the Aristocratic British society. Furthermore, in the colonial society an ordinary settler can acquire land, be master and owner of his own labor and land. As John Smith later wrote in his royal letter approving the recruitment of emigrant to New England promising that any settler could easily become "Lord of 200 acres of land"- an account far beyond the reach of most Englishmen"

Although, there were other several reason why the colonist, emigrated to the New found world, religious freedom was the key motivating factor, because most of the Nations in Europe exercised a dogmatic hold on principle and practice of religious worship and belief. The Puritan based their religious believes on the view that their colony epitomized the representation of true Christianity. Some of them who were known as separatist group who saw the Church of England as corrupt in the sixteenth Century England emigrated and settled in New England and Massachusetts Colonies. John Winthrop, though not a separatist himself was the colony governor Massachusetts Bay, said that Puritan had made a covenant with God to establish a truly Christian community where there was a considerable social and economic balance between the rich and poor.

In the Early Virginia and bordering Maryland colonies, the settlers were mostly families. In Virginia the white indentured servant (these were young men and women who signed contract of indenture in exchange for transportation to the New World) were used as servant in the fields to grow tobacco. Nevertheless, Majority of the settlers in Virginia became land owners as a result of the Virginia Company "headright" system.

Finally, it would be appropriate to say that each colony had it own unique idea of what liberty

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