LIBERTY. Freedom from restraint. The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature.
2. Liberty is divided into civil, natural, personal, and political.
3. Civil liberty is the power to do whatever is permitted by the constitution of the state and the laws of the land. It is no other than natural lib-erty, so far restrained by human laws, and no further, operating equally upon all the citizens, as is necessary and expedient for the general advantage of the public. 1 Black. Com. 125; Paley's Mor. Phil. B. 6, c.5; Swifts Syst. 12
4. That system of laws is alone calculated to maintain civil liberty, which leaves the citizen entirely master of his own conduct, except in those points in which the public good requires some direction and restrant. When a man is restrained in his natural liberty by no municipal laws but those which are requisite to prevent his violating the natural law, and to promote the greatest moral and physical welfare of the community, he is legally possessed of the fullest enjoyment of his civil rights of individual liberty. But it must not be inferred that individuals are to judge for themselves how far the law may justifiably restrict their individual liberty; for it is necessary to-the welfare of the commonwealth, that the law should be obeyed; and thence is derived the legal maxim, that no man may be wiser than the law.
5. Natural liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind, of diposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consonant to their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and that they do not in any way abuse it to the prejudice of other men. Burlamaqui, c. 3, s. 15; 1 Bl. Com. 125.
6. Personal liberty is the independence of our actions of all other will than our own. Wolff, Ins. Nat. §77. It consists in the power of locomotion, of changing situation, or removing one's person to whatever place one's inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law. 1 Bl. Com. 134.
7. Political liberty may be defined to be, the security by which, from the constitution, form and nature of the established government, the citizens enjoy civil liberty. No ideas or definitions are more distinguishable than those of civil aud political liberty, yet they are generally confounded. 1 Bl. Com. 6, 125. The political liberty of a state is based upon those fundamental laws which establish the distribution of legislative and executive powers. The political liberty of a citizen is that tranquillity of mind, which is the effect of an opinion that he is in perfect security; and to insure this security, the government must be such that one citizen shall not fear another.
8. In the English law, by liberty is meant a privilege held by grant or prescription, by which some men enjoy greater benefits than ordiuary subjects. A liberty is also a territory, with some extraordinary privilege.
9. By liberty or liberties, is understood a part of a town or city, as the Northern Liberties of the city of Philadelphia. The same as Faubourg. (q. V.)