Hasn’t the United States government restricted individual freedom? I think the intention of the United States Declaration of Independence was freedom.

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Certainly, there are times in US history when the government has restricted individual freedoms.  This, of course, is not a new concept.  The Alien and Sedition Acts under the John Adams administration is probably the first example we see.  American Heritage magazine has printed various critiques of the Lincoln administration...

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Certainly, there are times in US history when the government has restricted individual freedoms.  This, of course, is not a new concept.  The Alien and Sedition Acts under the John Adams administration is probably the first example we see.  American Heritage magazine has printed various critiques of the Lincoln administration with some leading historians arguing that Lincoln had a dictatorship.  Woodrow Wilson imposed restrictions on personal liberties during World War I.  Many argue today that the Patriot Act of 2001 did the same thing.

When discussing books like Brave New World, Animal Farm, The Giver, and 1984, I like to point out to students that the purpose of these books may be that the author wanted us to keep our governments in check by asking questions.   How each individual reacts to these texts will of course be individual.  But good books will, we hope, keep people thinking.

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