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Old English freodom "freedom, state of free will; charter, emancipation, deliverance;" see free (adj.) + -dom. Freedom-rider recorded 1961, in reference to civil rights activists in U.S. trying to integrate bus lines.
It has been said by some physicians, that life is a forced state. The same may be said of freedom. It requires efforts, it presupposes mental and moral qualities of a high order to be generally diffused in the society where it exists. [John C. Calhoun, speech, U.S. House of Representatives, Jan. 31, 1816]Freedom fighter attested by 1903 (originally with reference to Cuba).
Freedom Rider Situation Cuts Into Montgomery Juke, Game Revenues [headline, "Billboard," July 24, 1961]
The law of Moses pointed out the cases in which the servants of the Hebrews were to receive their freedom (Ex. 21:2-4, 7, 8; Lev. 25:39-42, 47-55; Deut. 15:12-18). Under the Roman law the "freeman" (ingenuus) was one born free; the "freedman" (libertinus) was a manumitted slave, and had not equal rights with the freeman (Acts 22:28; comp. Acts 16:37-39; 21:39; 22:25; 25:11, 12).