Honors Projects


Liberty is a key value of the United States of America and France as seen in their key phrases « Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, » and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Liberty can be broken down into two forms, positive liberty, or the freedom to something, and negative liberty, or the freedom from something. The separation of church and state is a primary pillar of both France and the United States, as it determines how the government of each country interacts with different religions. Public education is a primary socialization experience of citizens in both countries, where the values of each nation are learned and adapted. This paper evaluates liberty by looking at the separation of church and state in public education. Findings from the project show that when both nations give negative liberty to their citizens, it is typically given to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. When positive liberty is given, it is given to everyone in the United States but only certain groups in France. Differences in the expressions of liberty are explained by historical contexts and the prevailing perception of national identity of each country.


Honors Program


Pre-Professional Program in Law

First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Schocket

First Advisor Department

World Languages and Cultures

Second Advisor

Dr. Nicole Kalaf-Hughes

Second Advisor Department

Political Science

Publication Date

Spring 4-22-2024