The Bill Of Rights: The First Ten Amendments To The United States Constitution

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INTRODUCTION [ENGAGE] The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments in the United States Constitution. It ensures basic rights to American citizens and specifically protects all liberties mentioned within. The Bill of Rights protects American citizens from government oppression due to the rights provided by these amendments as well as specifically preventing Congress from passing laws that would infringe upon these rights. [FOCUS] Today we will see that the bill of rights protects American Citizens from government oppression. [OPTIONAL SECTION: CONTEXT] The Bill of Rights was not added to the constitution until fifteen years after our declaration of independence from England. The founding fathers wanted to offer more specific individual rights as well as limiting the power of the government. It specifically leaves anything not prohibited or provided in the constitution to be left up to the individual states. [PREVIEW] We’ll…show more content…
“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.” (US Const. amend. I, sec. I) [EXPLAIN] The most commonly debated part of the first amendment is the freedom of speech, which protects citizens from governmental censorship. The first amendment ensures that people have the right to criticize the government without fear of legal recourse. Speech was heavily restricted in the seventeenth century, with lawmakers able to pass blasphemy laws, some of which carried the death penalty. Our freedom of speech is not unconditional. There are very few cases where the government will actually step in and prohibit speech, most notably due to the harm clause. The harm clause has been used in recent years to prevent any hate speech that could directly put a group or class of people in
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