Seventh Grade American Government

My newsletter for seventh grade American Government.

The First Amendment- Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Petition, and Assembly.


"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."

The first amendment applies to every american citizen. This amendment protects freedom of speech, states that congress cannot make a law respecting a religion, states that people can hold rallys peacefully in public, and states that people can petition against the government when it is being unreasonable.

Over the past few years, there have been certain things that have violated the first amendment. One such thing is SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Internet Protocol [IP] Act). This act violated the first amendment by making it so that people did not have freedom to chose the websites they would want to go on.

I believe that freedom of speech is important to everyday life because if we did not have it, then people would not be able to express their opinion about government and then our government would not be "for the people". I do not think that amendment should be changed.

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech allows people to basically say anything that they want to. Of course, it has its limits, such as the fact that you cannot yell "FIRE!" in a movie theatre.

Freedom of Speech was passed because when the king was in power, people could not rant against the king no could they express their opinions about him.

Last year, Harvard had an issue with freedom of speech. Bad jokes were being passed around, and people were getting in trouble for it.

I feel like Freedom of Speech is perfectly ok the way it is because I think people should have the right to say anything, but it should have its limits.

This picture says that in the United States, people have the right to free speech.
This comic says that even though we have Freedom of Speech, people still get in trouble for saying certain things.

Freedom of Religion

Basically says that people can be any religion that they want.

This was established because in colonial times, the king wanted everyone to be catholic, so other religions were not treated fairly.

Now, everyone can express their beliefs through religion. There are temples, churches and mosques everywhere.

I think it is right because everyone has the right to believe in what they cose to believe in.

Says that even though we have Freedom of Religion, some people still seem to forget that this applies to ALL religions.
In this cartoon, it shows that people don't respect some religions, but do others.

Freedom of Press

Freedom of Press says that people are allowed to say anything they want to through published works, videos, communications, etc.

The king did not allow people to do this because, like in Freedom of Speech, he didn't want anyone to say anything bad about him.

Freedom of Press is used all the time in political magazines when they discuss topics such as how some one in government is doing things incorrectly.

This right is just like Freedom of Speech. The only difference is that one says that you can say anything on paper, and the other says you can say anything you want spoken.

Obama Defends Free Speech At UN
In this video, President Obama apologizes for an explicit comic and multiple videos The Onion News Network had posted that had offended muslims. He also defends freedom of press.
In this cartoon, it says that a wrongdoer will be attacked by press such as TV, radio, and internet.

Freedom to Assemble

People are allowed to assemble in public peacefully to protest about government issues.

When the king was in power, people could not rant against the monarchy.

People have assembled against government plenty of times before in public, for example, internet censorship. Not only did the internet blackout occur, but protests were being held all across the US.

I feel like this is a terrific right because people should be able to protest against unreasonable laws.

Shows people assembling.
Freedom of Assembly/Speech - yeah, right
Shows that people can be wrongly accused while protesting.

Right to Petition

This right says that people can petition against government.

When the king ruled, he never allowed anyone to tell him what to do.

On, you can see a list of amendments that people have sent to the White House. One of the more ridiculous ones is the one that asks to declare the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group just because of their website domain name.

I think that this right is ok, but it should be limited so that we get fewer strange requests.

People petitioning in front of the White House.
The White House petitioning website.

Amendment #2: The Right To Bear Armes and Create a Militia

Amendment Text

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Right to Form a Militia

People can form a militia for the security of a State.

It used to be that colonists could not form militias against the British Redcoats, Britain, or other enemies.

Florida's militias are called "The Florida Constitutional Groups". It can be found at

I think that this is a good right because it could add more security to States.

A picture of a militia
One of America's Most Notorious Militias
In interview with the head of the Michigan Militia

Right to Bear Arms

Allows people to own guns and other firearms.

Colonists could never own a gun.

People all over the US own guns. From pistols to hunting rifles to AK-47s and even mini-guns.

I think this is a terrible idea. I do not understand why anyone would need a gun at all aside from hunting purposes. I think all guns should be banned from purchase except for hunting rifles, because of the sport.

Making fun of the right to bear arms.
A comic making fun of the right to bear arms.