The Amendments

The first and the second amendment by Chase Anderson

The First Amemdment

"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."

-United States Bill of Rights

How the first amendment affects people in their every day lives.

Freedom of speech/ Explanation

Freedom of speech is the right for common people to state their opinion without getting into trouble with the government unless that person is causing a harmful situation.

Historical

Freedom of speech was made because the american colonists wanted men to each have their own opinion without having the fear of being thrown in jail. This idea was what the colonists wanted in England and they didn't want their voice to be controlled by King George III. They saw people being dragged off the street by guards because they were speaking ill of the King and that is not the type of fear the colonists wanted in the colonies.

Current Use

Currently people use the freedom of speech to state their opinion like when people go on strike or protest against an organization. As people commonly see on the television, they see people protesting on Wall street about political issues and taxes.

Opinion with support

I believe Freedom of speech is an important privilege for citizens in the United States. People should have the right to their opinion because the voice of the people can change a decision or outcome of events in the world. Some people debate whether certain people or actions are breaking the first amendment. An example of this is the Joseph Burstyn v. Wilson in 1952. the court case was about "provisions of the New York Education Law which forbid the commercial showing of any motion picture film without a license and authorize denial of a license on a censor's conclusion that a film is "sacrilegious," held void as a prior restraint on freedom of speech and of the press under the First Amendment." They were debating the first amendment's protection of free speech in films.


-http://www.anarchytv.com/speech/cases.html

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Freedom of Religion/ Explanation

The freedom of religion is the Idea stating that any one person can follow and believe in their own religion without the government making any law that says what religion they must follow.

Historical

Freedom of religion was present when the Pilgrims arrived from the Mayflower in 1620. They left England in search of religious freedom. The Irony of it all was that the Pilgrims used religion like a cudgel to discriminate, suppress, and even kill the "heathen" natives that inhabited America. A vast majority of the pilgrims were catholic so there were many pitched battles between Protestants and Catholics. America during that time was thought of as the Christian nation and in some people's opinion it still is today. The colonists looked back on past mistakes and decided to allow anyone and everyone to practice their own faith and not be discriminated. this introduced many cultures and religions into America.

Current Use

People currently use the freedom of religion to practice their faith and beliefs. They can join any church or synagogue and learn about their faiths and beliefs. people aren't afraid to believe in a different religion than someone else like back in the 17th century. Religion just adds contrast and gives you more of a personality to you and the people around you.

Opinion with support

I feel religious freedom is needed for democracy. It ins't right for people not to choose their religion. Religion makes people who they are today and connects family through the church/synagogue. In the court case Jones v. Wolf they disputed whether a church could separate from the national church structure. "A dispute ensued over which faction had control over the church building itself- either the name of the trustees for the local church or the church organization. The higher church sided with the minority which it called the "true congregation". The lower courts ruled that the minority had control of the church by using the 'neutral principles of law'." The majority vote was against the church so they did not separate from the structure.

-http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/court/jone_v_wolf.html

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Freedom of Press/ Explanation

Freedom of the press is the freedom of communication or expression through media.

Historical

In the colonies it was very hard to get information to people farther away in the countryside so people in the cities heard the news the quickest. Back in England no one could put flyers or posters saying what King George III was doing was wrong or that people should stand up to England. The problem the colonies had was that they could not trust the news because many of the town criers could be bribed or threatened into saying false information. So I feel freedom of press is important not just back in the day but today as well so people can state their beliefs or opinions through the media.

Current Use

The freedom of the press is currently used for people who want to say their opinion of someone or something through the media. they can express what they believe in a dispute or election. The media provides us information throughout our daily lives. It is important for the media to be independent and not be controlled by one person or government.

Opinion with support

I feel freedom of media lets the people's voice be heard. It can help people get an understanding of what a person or persons stand up for. The media shows us court cases, crimes, political issues, and domestic issues. This lets us formulate our own opinion of the matter. The court case Rex v. Zenger was about "The colony of New York tried publisher John Peter Zenger for seditious libel against the governor. At that time, truth was not a defense in a libel case. Zenger’s attorney told the jury of their power and duty to judge the law as well as the facts, and the jury acquitted Zenger. Though not a Supreme Court case, this is a landmark freedom of the press case."


-http://my.billofrightsinstitute.org/page.aspx?pid=481

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Freedom to Assemble/ Explanation

It is the right for people to gather together but to do it peacefully. if a group was assembling to start a riot or to overthrow the government, they could not claim a right to do this guaranteed by the Constitution.

Historical

The right to assemble came from the colonies where the British armies did not allow people to assemble and protest against the various Acts Parliament had passed to tax and control the colonial population. The advocates of liberty saw the importance of the right for people to assemble. They saw the importance of it for people who wanted to correct wrongs made by their government. People wanted to group together for the same notion or idea to protest against what they think is wrong.


Current Use

People currently use the freedom to assemble by coming together and mostly protest or go on strike. Some come together for the good of others like cancer walks or other charitable events that help people. This lets people set aside their differences for the same purpose to stop or show the wrong doing in the political or domestic issues.

Opinion with Support

I feel the right to assemble is needed so people can tell the government that what they are doing is wrong. I feel that it is important for people to protest and stand up for what they feel is right. I believe in the right for people to assemble but not when the outcome is endangering people's lives. A court case that shows this is the Edwards v. South Carolina case it was about how "In an 8-to-1 decision the high court overturned the breach of the peace convictions of 180 black students who had peacefully marched to the state capitol to protest discrimination. The police stopped the demonstration and arrested the students because they were afraid that the 200-300 who gathered to watch the demonstration might cause a riot. The court held the state law unconstitutionally over broad because it penalized the exercise of free speech, peaceable assembly, and the right of petition for a redress of grievances. A disorderly crowd, or the fear of one, cannot be used to stop a peaceful demonstration or cancel the right of peaceable assembly."

http://www.illinoisfirstamendmentcenter.com/research_CourtCases_RightToPeaceableAssem.php

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Right to Petition/ Explanation

The right to petition is the right to present requests to the government without punishment or reprisal.

Historical

The act of petitioning the government dates back the Magna Carta it stated “If we, our chief justice, our officials, or any of our servants offend in any respect against any man, or transgress any of the articles of the peace or of this security, and the offence is made known to four of the said twenty-five barons, they shall come to us - or in our absence from the kingdom to the chief justice—to declare it and claim immediate redress.” the English declaration of rights was another example because it allowed citizens to petition against the government without being prosecuted.This was not present within the colonies because the king thought the colonies owed him for letting them start the colonies.

Current Use

The current use of petitioning the government today is women standing up for equal rights. Women want to be equal to men so they have been petitioning the government so they could get their idea made a reality. Some people petition the government for better pay and can go on strike. This puts pressure on the government to make a decision.

Opinion with Support

I believe that people have the right to petition because then they can make their voices be heard by the government and ultimately change the decision of an important matter or event. The court case Brown v. Louisiana in 1966 stated that " The Supreme Court reversed the convictions of five black individuals who participated in an orderly and peaceful sit-in at a local branch library to protest segregation at the library." The court protected their right of petition and freedom of assembly.

-http://www.illinoisfirstamendmentcenter.com/research_CourtCases_RightToPetition.php

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The Second Amendment 2a/ 2b

"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."

Explanation

It is the right for every citizen to bear arms to keep security of the state.

Historical

It was believed that the right to bear arms came from a long established natural right in English law. When King James II was overthrown in the "Glorious Revolution" William III and Mary II, accepted the conditions that were concealed in the Bill. One of the issues the Bill resolved was the authority of the King to disarm its subjects, after James II had attempted to disarm many Protestants, and had argued with Parliament over his desire to maintain a permanent army. The colonists wanted to be able to protect themselves from danger and to act as a militia were the country in danger.

Current Use

The current use of the second amendment today is so citizen have the right to own a gun. People must firsts get a license before purchasing a gun so they have the authorization. People have the right to protect themselves by owning a gun but there are many people who argue against the second amendment because people have killed others using guns.

Opinion with support

I believe people should have the right to own a gun. Ii fell it is right for someone to buy a handgun or a rifle for protection but anything of greater magnitude should not be available to the public. People have been killed by acts of violence using guns and people argue that they should be outlawed. I thin that guns are not responsible for the deaths of those people. People are responsible for the deaths of those people because they had to choice to end a persons life or not. In the court case Konigsberg v. State Bar in 1961 was about how "The court found that Free Speech and other individual rights are based on rights "transplanted from English soil." The court went on to find Free Speech to be in unqualified terms and "In this connection also compare the equally unqualified command of the Second Amendment: 'the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.'"
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