Amendments

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.


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Amendment 1: Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is a person's freedom to practice any religion they wish, or have no religion at all.


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.

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Amendment 1: Freedom of Press

Another right stated in the first Amendment is the freedom of press. This means that government cannot use prior restraint, or when government censors information before it is published or broadcast.


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.


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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.

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Amendment 1: Right to Petition

People have a right to peacefully petition the government. This means that they can form petitions.


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.

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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.

Amendment 1: My Opinion

My opinion of Amendment 1 is positive; therefore I support it. I believe that people should have all the rights stated in the first Amendment, freedom of speech, religion, press, and assembly. If it was not created, I think the United States' government would become like a dictatorship.

Amendment 2: Right to Bear Arms

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" (Amendment 2 of the United State's Constitution).

Amendment 2: What is Amendment 2?

Amendment 2 is the right to bear arms. It protects the right of states to maintain a militia and citizens to bear arms. But, there is an exception. This exception is that other's rights cannot be yielded.

Amendment 2: Historical

Amendment 2 was created to prevent the national government from repeating actions that the British took before the American Revolutionary War. The British could take weapons away from colonial militia, or armed citizens. People are allowed to own guns to the extent that they sacrifice other people's rights.

Amendment 2: Current Use

Only about a few days ago (January 16, 2013), President Barack Obama made a proposal requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, even including private sellers. He did this to help prevent other's rights from being sacrificed.

Amendment 2: My Opinion

My opinion on Amendment 2 is that I believe people should have the power to own guns, but to a certain extent. I agree with President Obama's action as to requiring a background check before all gun purchases. I think that this will eliminate other people's rights being eliminated due to another person's wishes.