The Importance of the Freedom of Speech

The Importance of the Freedom of Speech

Length: 929 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
There is no other government in the world that gives freedom to the people like the United States of America. In the last sixty years, American courts, have made a set of legal doctrines that protect all forms of the freedom of expression.
The First Amendment is a great respect toward the freedom of religion. It also prevents the government from "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." In the early history of America, protecting freedom has been very important to Americans. In Langston Hughes poem Freedom, he expresses the struggle to enjoy the freedom that he knows are his. He shows how much he wants freedom when he says, "I do not need my freedom when I'm dead. I cannot live on tomorrow's bread." I think Langston Hughes showed the message of the American immigrants fight for freedom in the poem, Freedom. I choose Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 as a example of the censorship in a world that is being ignored. The government tried to get this movie not shown in the U.S. because it was disrespecting the United States government. A lot of people accept this censorship of expression without trying to fight it. Freedom of speech is always being argued. In a court case, a Gloucester County school district censored reviews of two R-rated movies from a school newspaper. Superior Court Judge, Robert E. Francis ruled that the student's rights were violated under the state Constitution. There was a new bill proposed that would prevent school officials from controlling the content of student publications. Some people thought that the student journalists may be too young to understand the responsibilities that come with free speech.
One other issue was the 2 Live Crew incident. They had a record called "As Nasty as They Wanna Be." It was ruled obscene in federal court. They were acquitted and became examples of freedom of speech. A lot stores took the albums off the shelves but more than two million copies sold because of the incident.
The book, American Voices, is a collection of essays on the freedom of speech and censorship. Each essay defends a case for free commercial speech. The freedom of speech has always been argued.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Importance of the Freedom of Speech." 18 Jun 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Importance of Rhetoric and Discussion of Freedom of Speech

- In the essays, “In Defense of Prejudice: Why Incendiary Speech Must Be Protected” by Jonathan Rauch and “The Debate over Placing Limits on Racist Speech Must Not Ignore the Damage It Does to Its Victims” by Charles R. Lawrence III, the writers express their beliefs on the topic of freedom of speech and prejudice speech; particularly racist. As far as any benefits of prejudice speech go, the two writers thoroughly disagree. Lawrence believes that there are no benefits of prejudice speech and it should not be included in what America’s “freedom of speech” entails, because of its effect on minorities as he writes, “Whenever we decide that racist speech must be tolerated because of the importanc...   [tags: prejudice speech,racist speech,jonathan rauch]

Research Papers
1396 words (4 pages)

The Importance of Freedom of Speech in Higher Education

- Freedom of speech is the right given to every individual. Everyone has been given the right to speak their mind and share their opinions. This right is always important but in higher learning, it is essential. Without freedom of speech the whole idea of higher education would just be a contradiction. When an institute of higher education tries to resist this right the whole purpose of the institute becomes contradicted. One needs their right to freely speak their mind for higher education to be a successful venture....   [tags: acceptance, ideas, restriction]

Research Papers
789 words (2.3 pages)

The Importance of the Freedom of Speech

- There is no other government in the world that gives freedom to the people like the United States of America. In the last sixty years, American courts, have made a set of legal doctrines that protect all forms of the freedom of expression. The First Amendment is a great respect toward the freedom of religion. It also prevents the government from "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." In the early history of America, protecting freedom has been very important to Americans....   [tags: US Constitution History Amendment]

Free Essays
929 words (2.7 pages)

Political Correctness or Freedom of Speech

- The term political correctness (PC) has infringed on our freedom of speech by assuming that the populace is too ignorant to realize what appropriate speech is. This term is now as common in our society as the term, ‘freedom of speech’. It is incomprehensible how these two words have had such an effect on the manner in which our society communicates. The trend casts a negative view on our society by letting political views determine what is appropriate in our social sector. Political correctness, as applied in today’s society, seeks to control freedom of speech and poses a true danger to a free society....   [tags: Freedom of Speech]

Research Papers
1460 words (4.2 pages)

Freedom Of Speech : An Essential Part Of A Democratic Society

- Although freedom of speech is regarded by many as an essential part of a democratic society, there is ongoing debate as to how far this right should extend, and whether it is acceptable to place limitations upon the right on the grounds that the speech could be classified as “hate speech”. Hate speech is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “speech expressing hatred or intolerance of other social groups”. This covers a wide array of language, from racist or homophobic language, through to the publication of unsavoury views such as holocaust denialism....   [tags: Human rights, Democracy, Freedom of speech]

Research Papers
784 words (2.2 pages)

Free Speech Should Have Some Kind Of Line Or None?

- On January 17th of 2015 two men with rifles and various firearms went into the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, bashing and shooting their way through the building they killed a total of 11 people and injured 11 more. after the incident the two men escaped. A vigorous search for the two suspects was issued and they were confronted by military and a shooting between the men and the military occurred, they entered a building belonging to a signage company and took hostages....   [tags: Freedom of speech, Censorship, Hate speech]

Research Papers
1067 words (3 pages)

The Between Conduct And Speech

- be prohibited is based on the distinction between conduct and speech (including symbolic speech - which the wearing of the veil obviously is). b) Case study of the hate and terroristic messages, as well as the representation and interpretation of religious messages An example of the use of the « supplementary elements » in a particular case. We all remember, the deadly attack on the « Charlie Hebdo » (QUOT) on the Jan. 8 2015, from the first approach, we can , however, the case is more controversial than it can seem in the begining....   [tags: Freedom of speech]

Research Papers
894 words (2.6 pages)

The Debate Over Freedom Of Speech

- As a sophomore attending a public university, the issues of racist speech and freedom of speech have been brought to my attention more than ever before. These issues are more than relevant. The debate over freedom of speech is of utmost importance to the college student and common citizen alike. College students today need, not only to know their rights, but they need to know how and when those rights should be used. They especially need to know how to use them in an academic setting for the purpose of intellectual and social growth....   [tags: First Amendment to the United States Constitution]

Research Papers
1555 words (4.4 pages)

America 's Freedom Of Speech

- Unlike many other countries America has freedom of speech. Even in other countries in Europe people are not allowed to use “hate speech” and they can be sent to prison for it. Fortunately, the American constitution defends people’s freedom of speech, no matter how controversial it is. Political correctness diminishes people’s free speech. It may not be direct but even indirectly the knowledge that someone might have adverse consequences; such as losing a job as a result of their speech is unacceptable....   [tags: First Amendment to the United States Constitution]

Research Papers
1261 words (3.6 pages)

Freedom Essay

- Freedom remains the sole basis for American society as we know it. Without freedom the great nation of America would have never been founded. To understand the true principles of freedom, one must understand the scope of the word. Philosophical freedom encompasses the ability to make choices without restraints, while political freedom is the state of being free rather than in physical confinement. Despite the importance of these ideas to our founding fathers, freedom has lost much of its importance in modern American society....   [tags: Society Politics Freedom Liberty, reform]

Research Papers
1307 words (3.7 pages)

Related Searches

I think is important that we learn from these cases so that in the government will not violate our freedoms or oppress our liberty. Even in colonial times, personal freedoms in the United States has been very important. In the early stages of American history people wanted to put legally protected freedoms into written government documents. They soon drafted the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights by James Madison. The personal freedoms described in the Bill of Rights especially the freedom of speech, has been challenged in American courts of law and in other places. In Colonial America, people of different nationalities had different views on government, religion, and other subjects. Confrontations were prevented because of large acres of land that separated the groups. A person could easily settle in with other like believers and be untouched by the prejudices and oppression of others. When the United States became larger and larger, the groups were forced to live together.
The press of William Bradford was seized by the government when he printed up a copy of the colony's charter. He was charged and spent more than a year in prison. James Alexander was the first colonial writer to develop a philosophy on the freedom of speech. He founded the American Philosophical Society . The original Constitution did not have a bill of rights because the convention delegates said that individual rights were not in danger and will protected by the states. Not having bill of rights was the biggest objection to the ratification of the Constitution. Nine years after the Bill of Rights had been adopted it met its first serious challenge. In 1798, there was a threat of war with France and French refugees who were living in the United States. This insanity made Congress enact sedition laws. One law stopped the publication of false, scandalous or malicious writing against the government, Congress or the President. The penalty for this crime was a $2,000 fine and two years in prison. The public was mad at these laws. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison asked for freedom of speech and the press. The Sedition laws became a important issue in the presidential election of 1800. After Jefferson was elected, the Sedition Act expired and the people who was convicted under it were pardoned.
I believe that the First Amendment will continue to in the future. The reason for me believing this is that it has already been working for 215 years. We the people having a democratic government will always give us the upper hand. Things that we believe are wrong, we have the right to challenge those things. We can not be forced by the government to do something because of the first Amendment.


Amendments to the Constitution-Pathway to the Present
.American Voices. New York: Phillip Morris, 1987.
Bollinger, Lee. C. The Tolerant Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
Hughes, Langston. The Panther and the Lash. New York:
Hentoff, Nat. The First Freedom. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1980.
Fahrenheit 9/11- Michael Moore, 2004
"'Free Speech' Moves for School Newspapers." The Star Ledger, 4 May 1991: A-3
"Student Wins Freedom of Speech Case." Daily Record, 24 April 1991
Return to