Amendment 1

By Tristan Wille

About Amendment 1

The first Amendment was written in 1789 and ratified in 1791 along with the rest of the amendments. It gives people the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petitioning. Today the freedoms apply to all states, since 1925's Gitlow v. New York. This supports Anti-Federalism, which is when states have more governmental power. The Bill of Rights was called for by the Anti-Federalists. - Wikipedia

James Madison

James Madison was the father of the Bill of Rights and therefore Amendment 1. (above)



Explanation of Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech is a rule that most democracies have. It is a rule that states that people may speak their opinions albeit usually against the government or a ruler. However you may not use it to hurt anyone.


It is assumed by scholars that Freedom of Speech first appeared around the 5th or 6th century BCE in the Roman empire. The English Bill of Rights of 1689, 1789's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (a document adopted by France during the French Revolution), the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and many more key documents included the Freedom of Speech. It was used later, as a way to stop censorship.


Current Use of the freedom of speech - Texas v. Johnson (1989)

In 1984 outside the Republican National Convention in Dallas, a man named Johnson burned a US flag as a protest of Ronald Reagan. He was arrested under Texas Law that states you may not deface a flag of America or Texas. He sued and got to the Supreme Court. They agreed with the decision of Texas because burning the flag was "expressive conduct" in an attempt to "convey a particular message".


Opinion w/ support of FREEDOM OF SPEECH

In my opinion the ruling was correct since burning a flag could invoke people into hating the country and potentially causing harm to people in a protest against America.
This cartoon shows that in American we have the freedom of speech, but in Islam countries you do not but they always criticize American leaders.


This is, in my opinion, a great quote by George Washington, describing the need for free speech.



Freedom of Religion explanation

Freedom of speech is the right that people have to follow any religion they please, it also includes the freedom to not follow a religion or to change religion.


Freedom of religion history

Freedom of religion was a very hot topic throughout history since, everywhere you go there were people fighting over religion. The crusades and Elizabeth vs. Mary Queen of Scots come to mind. Cyrus, the great Persian leader was the first to include freedom of religion, around 550 BCE. Asoka, the great Indian leader, also introduced this in around the 3rd century BCE.


Current use of freedom of religion - Zorach vs. Clauson (1952)

Zorach vs. Clauson was a case in which people who wanted to miss school due to religious obligations, were denied exit. It reached the supreme court and they ruled that they could miss school.


My opinion on Zorach vs. Clauson

I believe that students should be able to leave class for religious obligations because it is what their parents want for them.
This cartoon shows how some religions do not believe in birth control. Also some people believe that births are controlled by God. But, since they have Freedom of Religion they may believe in it. The pharmacist is a priest which explains even more. I think it is wrong for religions to ban birth control from a specific society since, that is is someones decision to make themselves.


This is a diagram showing the most popular religions that are, because of Freedom of Religion, allowed in America.


This is a graph that shows the rise of the atheist population in America since 1990, over 100%. I think it is because of the mass media that depicts religion as taboo.


Freedom of Press

Freedom of press explanation

The Freedom of Press is the freedom that mass media has to publish whatever they want, even against the government.

freedom of press historically

A law about the Freedom of Press was first made in 1539 in the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. In 1766 Sweden-Finland adopted a similar law. Five years later Denmark-Norway did too. In Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler took away the Freedom of Press for them. Censorship also usually replaced Freedom of Press before then.


Current Use of Freedom of Press - New York Times Co. vs. United States (1971)

In 1971 the Vietnam War was a hot topic. The New York Times obtained a copy of what is known now as "the Pentagon Papers" a few papers with a lot of confidential information on the war. The New York Times were ordered not to publish them. They sued saying their Freedom of Press was being taken away. The New York Times won 6-3.


My opinion on New York Times Co. Vs United States

I do not agree with the Supreme Court. These documents could have provided Vietnam and the USSR with extra information, when it would give the people little gain other than knowledge.

Media Usage of Freedom of Press

This cartoon shows Julian Assange, the famous hacker, who was arrested for publishing many confidential documents. Now since he hacked many things, he says he knows the security guards password.
This graph shows the amount of people in countries without free press, partly free press, and fully free press.


Freedom of Assembly

Freedom of Assembly explanation

Freedom of assembly is the right to assemble and protest. However, in some cases you do not have this right. However, sometimes, like the occupy Wall St. protests, you may not and may be attacked by police. This is since it may disturb peace and is unlawful assembly. It is not allowed in places like Syria, where you'll be tear gassed and shot by rubber bullets if you protest government.


Freedom of Assembly historically

We are not quite sure when Freedom of Assembly was first established. However, it is allowed in many countries such as Spain, India, Japan, Turkey, Germany and many more. It is also in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, European Convention of Human Rights and others.


Current Use of Freedom of assembly - Bloody Sunday (1965)

On March 7, 1965 hundreds of African Americans marched out of Selma. The march was fine until they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge and saw many state troopers. They told the marchers to leave, which the marchers promptly refused. They began to be attacked by the police. Tear gas was thrown. 17 marchers were sent to the hospital.


my opinion on bloody sunday

I think that the marchers were not hurting anyone, nor were they breaking any laws. They were peacefully protesting their treatment. It was just a case of racism in the 1960s, which doesn't come as a surprise to me. I honestly think that the cops who beat them up should be put in jail since there is no reason to stop them from protesting. It is in my opinion, unconstitutional.
This shows, how during the Occupy Wall Street protests, that so many people were protesting they could be seen from the 23rd floor of the Wall Street Bank. While this is obviously not true it is not that large of an exaggeration.


These are some people protesting America's not being in the war with Palestine and Israel, who want America to help out Israel.


Freedom to Petition

Freedom to petition explanation

Freedom to petition is the freedom to petition against the government, which is complaining to the government and getting people to sign a paper against it.


Freedom to petition historically

The right to petition in the First Amendment was originally intended just for government consideration. It was added since King George refused to consider certain petitions of the colonists. In the 1830s petitions was used a lot to petition slavery in the north. It was also included in the Magna Carta and the 1689 English Bill of Rights.


Current Use of Freedom to petition - Thornhill v. Alabama (1940)

A man named Thornhill was arrested in Alabama for picketing near a place of business. The case reached the supreme court who ruled that he was protected by his first amendment rights and secured by the 14th amendment rights.


My opinion on thornill v. alabama

I agree with the Supreme Court since it is specifically stated in the Fret Amendment that you have the right to petition be it in front of a business.
This shows a petition to Congress for women's rights. It has so many signatures since it was a popular opinion for women's suffrage. It is considered propaganda since it is leaned to one direction.


This shows people petitioning in front of the white house. It is important since Police may be able to arrest them.


Amendment 2

Amendment 2 explanation

This Amendment protects the right to bear arms and have a militia. It was released with the Bill of Rights.


Amendment 2 historically

Amendment 2 was originally made to protect the people since there was no police and the only protection was their own guns and army. It is quite controversial now since people die from gun violence a lot but people are protected by Amendment 2.


Current use of amendment 2 - Sandy Hook Shootings (2012)

On December 14, 2012 Adam Lanza shot many kids at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. It is controversial with Amendment 2 since he had many illegal guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He wasn't even old enough to own a gun in Connecticut.

my opinion on Sandy Hook Shootings

I think that all guns that have the ability to kill multiple people quickly, should be outlawed. Also ammunition clips that are large should be made smaller since there is no need to have more than about 5 bullets in a pistol at once.
This cartoon shows a man who brought a large gun to work presumably and tries to use his 2nd amendment rights to get away with it. This is not realistic since it is really stretching the rules and would threaten many people at his job.
This is something that made me laugh, it is a sign outside someone's home that says that the basically have a gun inside. It is a way of warding off robbers as well.