The first inhabitants of North American colonies, whom were controlled by the British, did not have the legal right to speak out against government policies or issues such as unfair laws and taxes, English speech regulations were quite restrictive. After several prosecutions of speaking out against the government, the trial of John Peter Zenger, who was convicted of opposing the government, marked the beginning of a greater tolerance of free speech. In response to the American Revolutionary War, the Constitution of the United States was created. In addition to that, the Bill of Rights was proposed to further protect individual’s rights. Which stated that “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech.”
This raises the question over if freedom of speech should be protected or if it should be deemed positive and necessary by the majority of the rulers. Some believe that free speech should be protected because of clearly stated rights in the constitution and because it helps contribute to a society; while others believe that it should be limited to only say positive things about the government because that contributes to the protection of national security and the government legally has the right too.
Argument for the protection of free speech
Those who support the protection of free speech base their ideas on the principles of democracy. They argue that Protection of free speech is implied in the Bill of rights and therefore should be ...
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Luft, Eric V.D. "Fitche Advocates Free Speech." Salem History. Ed. John Powell.
N.p., 2006. Web. 27 Feb. 2011.
Steffens, Bradley. The Free Speech Movement. N.p.: Greenhaven Press, 2004.
Tead, Tom. Civil Liberties. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Van Mill, David. "Free Speech." N.p., n.d.
Philosophy. Ed. Edward N. Zalto. Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research
Lab , 2009. N. pag. http://plato.stanford.edu/. Web. 27 Feb. 2011.
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