Civil liberties are guaranteed freedoms that cannot be abridged by a government. In the United States, for example, many basic civil liberties are enshrined in the First Amendment, including:
- Freedoms of speech
- The Press
Many other civil liberties include freedom from slavery, from forced labor, and freedom from torture. Thomas Jefferson held that among the inalienable rights were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The concept of civil liberties dates back the Magna Charta of 1215, in which certain rights were specifically codified. Another landmark in the development of civil liberties was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, issued at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. Many governments have either a bill or rights, or have civil liberties as part of their constitution. Some nations have adopted such documents as the European Convention on Human Rights. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Civil Liberties that follows your guidelines.
Civil Liberties and China
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China, for example, claims to protect civil rights under its Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens clause, but many dissidents find that the rule of law is not on their side.
In the United States, most civil liberties were enshrined in the Bill of Rights of 1791, although the Fourteenth Amendment provided further legal protect of civil liberties, including due process and equal protection under the law. Many make a distinction between political rights and human rights, which are often called civil rights in modern democracies.