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The First Amendment

Powerful Essays
America has been built on freedom throughout the years. Freedom to speak, freedom to choose, freedom to worship, and freedom to do just about anything you want within that of the law. America’s law has been designed to protect and preserve these freedoms. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. It assures citizens that the federal government shall not restrict freedom of worship. It specifically prohibits Congress from establishing an official, government supported church. Under The First Amendment, the federal government cannot require citizens to pay taxes to support a certain church, nor can people be prohibited from worshipping in any way they see fit. However, if a certain religion recommends a practice that is contrary to public morals, such as polygamy, Congress may prohibit such a practice (Weidner, Daniel, 2002). The people of the United States also have the right to assemble peaceably under the First Amendment. The only restriction comes from the word peaceably. Assembly may not be prevented, as long as the proper authorities have reasonable assurance that the meeting will be peaceful (Weidner, Daniel, 2002).

Since the early history of our country, the protection of basic freedoms has been very important to Americans. The American voice on freedom has been shaped throughout history. The Bill of Rights was originally drawn up in June, 1789. On December 15th, 1791, the Bill of Rights were ratified and added to the United States Constitution. James Madison said that a bill of rights was good for the “tranquility of the public mind, and the stability of the government” (Burgar, Michael, 2002). Free speech and free press were most important to the drafters of the Bill of Ri...

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...ves would be completely different in many different ways.

Works Cited

Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo (1974). (n.d.). Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free online reference, research & homework help. — Infoplease.com. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from http://www.infoplease.com/us/supreme-court/cases/ar22.html

First Amendment Theories. (n.d.). Theories. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~rr194602/Media%20Law/Theories.html

Weidner, D. W. (2002). Creating the Constitution: the people and events that formed the nation. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow.

Burgan, M. (2002). The Bill of Rights . Minneapolis, Minn.: Compass Point Books.

Notable First Amendment court cases. (n.d.). American Library Association. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/