100 years ago? 1917? definite weren't more free for blacks, native americans, asians and others. weren't more free for women, and they were/are better than 1/2 the population, yes? 1917 is also the year the infamous espionage act(s) o' 1917 were made law. the Court didn't get around to knocking some o' the free speech teeth abridgements outta the act 'til 1969 with brandenburg v. ohio.
also, folks ignore our frequent lessons 'bout the dangers o' democracy. contrary to what most folks believe, democracy ain't what protects your freedoms. democracy is the danger, not the solution. our checks and balances which make our government so ineffective is what largely protects folks. culture also protects. but democracy? democracy is the majority, and the majority has never been a trustworthy repository o' freedom. the majority is petty and fearful and often very stoopid. for much o' US history, the fed government had very little say regarding how States protected freedoms o' citizens. never forget that the bill o' rights is a check on democracy, and that check were a relative weak limit for much o' US history.
oh, and absolute liberty rare equates to universal freedom. those with money and power have an advantage in maintaining the status quo. those w/o are typical too busy trying to make ends meet to serious devote energy to changing the system. so in the early 1900s we got stuff such as child coal miners
and women working in factories in nyc
give folks a myth o' equal opportunity and call it freedom?
is seeming paradoxical, but absolute liberty do not result in perfect freedom. hobbes' state of nature is absolute liberty, but it ain't what most o' us think o' as freedom. given human nature, absolute liberty, freedom from any kinda government constraint, inevitable results in the exploitation o' man by his fellow man.
dunno, but particular as a native american, am having little difficulty proclaiming with certainty our greater freedom today than were enjoyed by our great grandparents and grandparents.