1.Select either Shays' Rebellion or ADA, 1990. Discuss how your chosen event/legislation is either an example of Freedom vs. Order or Freedom vs. Equality.
a. Shays’ Rebellion is an excellent example of Freedom vs. Equality. Most farmers had been Revolutionary War veterans and were only given government certificates promising money in the future. The first hardship these farmers had to face was the constant tension of not receiving their pay. Therefore, those certificates were sold for less than they were supposed to be worth, but it still provided something for the farmers. The farmers had no “freedom” from the government, as they were being heavily taxed on their own land. Soon after, these farmers had to face inequalities since they did not have enough money to pay off the tax. They were in debt, which led them to debtors’ court, and could be threatened by prison. The rebels from Shays’ Rebellion had limited freedom from the government on their land and faced inequalities for being in a poor financial structure for being farmers. These two frustrations made rebelling seem like the only logical option left.
2. What freedoms are most important to you?
a. Personally, I feel freedom of speech is the most important. If I didn’t have the right to speak out, I would feel dehumanized from my own race. I believe that the freedom of speech is essential to maintain a content population. If a nation doesn’t allow their people the freedom of speech, it makes it seem like to me that nation is weak since they feel if their people speak out, they won’t be able to maintain order. Second, I believe the freedom to a speedy trail by jury with a lawyer if one cannot afford it. It is important for all people to have proper trials so the government cannot play favorites. If this were not true, innocent people could be framed. But once the government provides a lawyer for those who need one and grant the person a speedy trail by a jury, allowing the person being prosecuted to explain him or herself and prove their innocence. Finally, I believe freedom of religion is also a vital freedom. It allows people to worship whatever they believe in, and doesn’t show favoritism to certain religions. It allows for people to feel humans and not like they are servants to the government. These three freedoms I have chosen all deal with eliminating favoritism and treating everyone equally.
3. What freedoms are you willing to give up in an effort to maintain order?
a. I would give up my freedom of religion. If I were told not to practice a certain religion, I wouldn’t mind because I could always just practice it in my mind. And if I were forced to practice a different religion, I wouldn’t mind that either because in my heart I know what I really believe in. I would also not mind giving up my freedom of right to bear arms. If this were causing too much chaos, I would happily give up this right. Using a firearm isn’t the only method of self-defense, so I feel that would not affect me too much.
4. After September 11 there was great discussion of furthering order to keep our nation safe. For example, many individuals argued for the right of the government to be able to increase its wiretapping powers in order to avert terrorist acts. Do you think the government should do more to keep citizens safe? Why or why not? What things would you be willing (or unwilling) to give up in order to maintain safety?
a. I feel after a major terrorist event, a government should maintain extreme safety precautions for a minimum of five years. If a government were to listen into someone’s conversations because they suspected someone of terrorism, I think that’s fine. If one has nothing to hide, then there should not be much of a problem. A government should do whatever necessary to protect its civilians without harming innocent people. I would be willing to give up some of my privacy rights (what I search on the internet, who I make calls to, etc.) to protect others. Again, I feel if there’s nothing to hide, it should not be a huge problem. If the threat, however, were to reduce in severity after a long period of time, I would not like the government to be tracing my searches or calls or going against my privacy rights. Only within at least five years of the event should the government be issuing extreme safety precautions.