It has been said that freedom isn’t free, and the Patriots who won our freedom on the battlefields of the War for Independence are rightfully remembered as American heroes. But what exactly is that freedom they fought to win?

The Founding Fathers first tried to preserve freedom through the Articles of Confederation, but farmers in Western Massachusetts rose up against that government. In their minds, the wealthy were manipulating government to their own purposes and taking away their freedom, sometimes quite literally, in the form of debtor’s prisons.

So the Articles were scrapped and replaced by the Constitution which has guided us for the past 200 years. The process of ratifying that Consitution gives us interesting insights into what Americans believed freedom was at the time, and the Bill of Rights, the most important outcome of that debate, has helped define freedom throughout the nation’s history. But what does freedom mean to you?

What is freedom?