The First Amendment Of The United States Constitution

1308 words - 5 pages

The United States Constitution was signed on September 17th, 1787. It did not include a bill of rights and it did not include their freedoms. And so, on September 25, 1789 Congress passed the first ten amendments, which were later ratified on December 15, 1791. The Bill of Rights was created by the Founding Fathers with the intent of restricting the powers of the new national government. The Bill of Rights, however, consists of 10 amendments. The first of the amendments was written because the people at America’s establishment wanted their basic freedoms guaranteed. Thus, the first freedoms guaranteed to citizens were written by James Madison and are now known as the First Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects and guarantees the freedoms of citizens. That being said, the court cases dealing with the 1st amendment involve a violation of either a freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and or petition. And so, cases regarding religion deal with prayer in public schools, limiting the right to deny medical care for religious purposes, there being an official government church and the ability for citizens to worship as they please. Cases on the topic of free speech deal with symbolic speech, such as flag burning, and pure speech-verbal speech expressed before a voluntary audience. Many of the same things that deal with the freedom of speech also deal with the freedom of press. However, the freedom of press also deals with prior restraint. Meaning the government may not censor information before it is written or published, unless in extreme cases of national security. Cases dealing with assembly and petition are also closely related. However, the freedom of assembly has to be balanced with the rights of others, as it cannot disrupt public order. For over 100 years after the ratification of the Constitution, the First Amendment protected these freedoms only in theory. As individuals in the 20th century have challenged the government in the courts when they believed their rights were assaulted, the First Amendment has taken on a stronger meaning. Nonetheless, it remains the single most powerful instrument for protecting the sacred freedoms of Americans.
The case Schenck v United States (1919) deals with the 1st amendment’s freedom of speech. Charles T. Schenck was a member of the socialist party. He very much opposed the country’s military draft and even distributed pamphlets to draftees urging them to resist the draft. Those pamphlets suggested the already drafted men to “not submit to intimidation,” but not through violent means. In fact, the pamphlets only insisted for nonviolent actions such as petitioning to repeal the Conscription Act....

Find Another Essay On The First Amendment of the United States Constitution

The Ratification of the United States Constitution

1044 words - 4 pages explained the actions under which the government would operate without providing for rights that would be preserved by the states. Federalists alleviated their fears by agreeing to attach the Bill of Rights to the end of the Constitution after ratification. In December, 1791 these first ten amendments to the Constitution were accepted and added to the document. The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution

The Constitution of the United States

1094 words - 5 pages Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.” It is not possible for the national government to be in power if each state had their own independence, it was creating the thirteen countries of America, and was not united. Therefore the first part of the Preamble and the entire American Constitution addresses this problem and sets guidelines for a national government in order, “to form a more perfect Union.” In

The Creation of the United States Constitution

2758 words - 11 pages Confederation was the first Constitution of the independent United States of America. It was instituted before the Revolutionary War was even won, and was in force since 1781. Whether or not to accept the Articles was a very controversial issue, "as witnessed by the drawn-out ratification dates." Many of the people feared a strong central government, fearing that it would become tyrannical. The Articles of Confederation "created a federation in which the

Role of the United States Constitution

784 words - 3 pages . Constitution in 1868. Its originalpurpose was to guarantee equal rights to all persons after the Civil War. The provisions ofthe Fourteenth Amendment prohibit discriminatory and unfair action by the government" (Cheeseman, pg.60, ¶3, sic).This amendment first established that no State shall abridge or shorten the rights of any of its citizens. This is important because prior to the 14th amendment, the States were able to basically overlook or

Role of the United States Constitution

740 words - 3 pages including health insurance. According to Cheeseman (2007) the Fourteenth Amendment was added to the United States Constitution. Under this amendment, it prohibits discriminatory and unfair action by the government. One of the hottest subjects in today’s economy is not only gender specific but same sex marriage. My company as with many other companies must change their insurances to pay for health insurance as it relates to a spouse with the same

Constitution of the United States: Our Living Constitution

933 words - 4 pages The United States Constitution has been governing our way of life for over 200years. Throughout its time it has been viewed in many ways to make our lives easier. Ithas been the legal structure of our political system, establishing governmental bodies,determining how their members are selected, and prescribing the rules by which theymake their decisions.The Philadelphia Convention, which was later called the ConstitutionalConvention, began on

Framing The United States Constitution

1602 words - 6 pages Framing the United States Constitution In 1787, at the Constitutional Convention, a group of knowledgeable and brilliant men met in order to revise the problematic, inefficient, and weak Articles of Confederation. These experienced and well read men produced a four-page document, suggesting an entirely new form of government. This achievement was absolutely remarkable considering it had no precedent in history, and this document established a

The Importance of the First Amendment of the United States’ Bill of Rights for Democratic Government and its Citizens

786 words - 3 pages Being expression one of the most important rights of the people to maintain a connected society right to speech should be accepted to do so. The first amendment is one of the most fundamental rights that individuals have. It is fundamental to the existence of democracy and the respect of human dignity. This amendment describes the principal rights of the citizens of the United States. If the citizens were unable to criticize the government, it

This is an opinion essay on the first amendment in the United States' Constitution. This essay does include many factual things, but it mostly what I think about the amendment.

1034 words - 4 pages The first amendment in the United States' Bill of Rights states:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.Our founding fathers made this a right for all American citizens in 1791 and it has not been altered in 213 years

The Second Amendment of the United States of America.

682 words - 3 pages As Americans, we are entitled to our rights and our freedoms. The Bill of Rights, along with many of the other amendments, is one of the most important laws that America has. The sad part is that many Americans do not fully know or understand their rights. The second amendment is one of the most important amendments the United States has.The second amendment states "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the

The Constitution and Freedom of Religion in the United States

1165 words - 5 pages . In the United States, Jews were shunned from society, but experienced a more collectively tolerable form of discrimination than the Catholics endured. Consequently, Jews experienced a type of intolerance that was notably dissimilar than the persecution towards Catholics in the 1600s. The American Constitution serves as an over-arching code of conduct; the First Amendment allows for religious tolerance by all in the United States. Prior to

Similar Essays

The Importance Of The Fourteenth Amendment To The United States Constitution

3317 words - 13 pages their citizens. While it might at first seem superfluous, one of the most important parts of the Fourteenth Amendment was that it provided a definition of who was a citizen of the United States. However, in the infamous Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Taney had held that, “A free negro of the African race… is not a ‘citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States,” and thus, only whites were

The Constitution Of The United States

771 words - 3 pages The Constitution of the United States was written in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention, where it was held in Philadelphia. It was written by a group of people known as “Farmers,” or the “Founding Fathers,” and few of the most famous Founding Fathers were George Washington (The first president of the USA), Thomas Jefferson (The first vice president and the third president of the USA) James Madison (The fourth president of the USA), Samuel

The History Of The United States Constitution

1735 words - 7 pages Americans won their independence. After much trial and error in the period after the Revolution, the forefather's of the United States drafted the timeless document known as the United States Constitution. When the Americans won the war the new leaders were aware that they would need to develop a government. The Articles of Confederation were written and adopted by the United States for this purpose. (Harr, 2012) The period in which the Articles of

The Constitution Of The United States

1423 words - 6 pages , which proclaimed the rights of Englishmen, and from Enlightenment developer John Locke. The Constitution consists of a preamble followed by the seven articles and the twenty-seven amendments. In the Constitution, the Amendments serve to define to the people of the United States the rights that they possess. In 1920, the 19th Amendment, which pertained to women’s suffrage, was passed. The 19th Amendment afforded women the right to vote