1st Amendment

February 14, 2012 528 No of hits
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1st Amendment

Many colonists had come to the New World in order to get away from repression of some kind. When they won their independence and formed the United States of America, there was some concern about whether those rights would get infringed upon by this new government.

As a result, the Bill of Rights was created and included as part of the Constitution of the United States; in order to ensure that the rights of the individual would be protected from the government.

The first amendment set the stage for the rest of the Bill of Rights by protecting many of the freedoms that the citizens did not have under English rule, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

People had often been punished for speaking their minds while under the rule of the British monarchy whether it was through public speaking or the press. Through time this was expanded to include other forms of expression as well, i.e. television, movies, etc.

Freedom of speech was never really put to the test till the early part of the twentieth century when people began to get convicted under the Sedition Act of 1918 and the Espionage Act of 1917. In short, both allowed for a pretty liberal interpretation of language/actions that could be perceived as dangerous to the country.

Both were challenged as violations of the first amendment, but initial cases were upheld; the Supreme Court found the actions to be a `clear and present danger' to the welfare of the country.

Also included in the first amendment were the freedom of religion and the freedom to assemble (peacefully). Many colonists had been persecuted for their religion and wanted to insure that there would be a separation of church and state in the United States.

The freedom to assemble was intended to help protect those that wanted to worship together, but also allow people the freedom to gather and express their ideas regardless of what they might be.

Many of the protections were initially thought to just be in regards to federal law, but the 14^th amendment made the first applicable to state and local governments as well thanks to the Due Process Clause.

Tags:   1st Amendment   Constitution   Bill of Rights   Espionage Act of 1917   Sedition Act of 1918   Due Process Clause  

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Many colonists had come to the New World in order to get away from repression of some kind. When they won their independence and formed the United States of America, there was some concern about whether those rights would get infringed upon by this new government.

As a result, the...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

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