Amendments to the United States' Constitution
by Sydney Aronberg
Amendment 1: Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press, Assembly, and Petition
"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" (Amendment 1 of the United State's Constitution).
Amendment 1: Freedom of Speech
The freedom of speech states that people have freedom to say anything they want. Even though the first Amendment states that people have a freedom of speech, there are some exceptions. The exceptions include anything that is slander or libel. Slander is false speech intended to damage a person's reputation. Libel is the same as slander, but it is applied in written forms such as newspapers.
An example of freedom of speech was when people in a town in California were handing out pamphlets. The Court said that it was a crime to distribute anonymous pamphlets; but, freedom of speech declares that Court cannot do this.
Amendment 1: Freedom of Religion
I found it very interesting that there is a law in Germany that says children over the age of 14 have the right to be any religion they wish, even if it is different then their parents.
Amendment 1: Freedom of Press
An example of freedom of speech is when the New York Times Newspaper said libelous things about a public official. The official called a trial and the New York Times Newspaper was sued.
Amendment 1: Freedom of Assembly
Freedom of assembly is the idea that people can assemble freely. For example, people could hold meetings and peaceably state their beliefs, but government may require a permit.
For example, in 1963, some African American students peacefully marched at a school in South Carolina. The Court said that they were allowed because they had the right in freedom of assembly.
Amendment 1: Right to Petition
A common example of the Right to Petition is when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. He peacefully petitioned government by asking for equal rights for everyone.
Amendment 1: History
The first Amendment was created because the Founding Fathers wanted people to have freedom to speak, practice religion, create press, assemble, and petition how they wished. They knew that this would be a good idea because of their previous experiences. For example, in the colonies, the colonists were not supposed to say anything negative about the government. They wanted the freedom to speak about government, so they put it in Amendment 1.