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.
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech to me means that americans can say and write whatever they want (as long as it is not libel and slander or brings harm to people), even if it criticizes the government. Freedom of speech also means to me that people have the right to wear whatever they want and express their views. I think they included this amendment based on our history because when the colonists first came from England they did not want the rules to be the same like if you spoke against the government you could face severe consequences. An example of this is the Boston Tea Party when the colonists were expressing their views on the new tea taxes by throwing all the tea in the Boston Harbor. As a consequence King George III closed the Boston Harbor. A current example of this is amendment is when during the Vietnam War kids going to school were not allowed to wear shirts saying bad things about the war and people thought that this was violating the freedom of speech in the first amendment. In my opinion i think that the kids should have been allowed to wear whatever they wanted during the War because everyone has their own opinion and they should be able to express that.
Someone being censored.
This cartoon shows that England did not grant their people freedom of speech.
Freedom of Religion
My explanation of Freedom of religion is that everyone has the right to believe whatever religion they want without being harmed because they chose that religion. I think they included this amendment becasue they did not want it to be like England where if you had a diferent religion than the king, you could not practice it and if you were caught practicing it you would be punished. A historical example of this is when puritans made the Massachusetts bay colony and let no other people of different religions join the colony. A modern day example of this is when Adolf Hitler tried to rid the Jewish people of the world. In my opinion I think this amendment is very important becuase without it we might of had other holocausts by now.
This picture shows almost all of the major religions in the world.
Stand Up for Religious Freedom - OFFICIAL VIDEO
Freedom of the Press
My explanation of freedom of the press is that people can say whatever they want about anyone on the internet and in newspapers as long as it is not secret imformation about the country. I think they included this amendment because they believed everything should be public to other people, except secret government business. A historical example of this amendment in use is when the press wanted to see the constitution being written and they were deniend acess. A current example of this is related to the Movie Zero Dark Thirty which let people know more about the killing of Osama Bin Laden because they movie makers got secret information from the government. In my opinion I believe that this part of Amendment 1 should allow people to know everything about the government because the government is protecting the people and the people should know everything about who protects them.
This comic shows that the press can see whatever you do if they chose to.
This is the press.
Freedom to Assemble
My explanation of the freedom to assemble is that all americans are allowed to make their own groups that can be about anything (as long as their intentions are not to hurt people physically). I think that including this in the First Amendment was based on our history because if something happened where one person got to much power like in England people should be able to make groups and protest about it. A historical example of this is the Sons of Liberty who did many treasonous acts against the King in protest. A modern day example of this is people going on strike to express their opinions about something. In my opinion I think they made the right choice to put this in the First Amendment becasue without it people would not be able to protest about things that they think are not right.
9/29/2007 Washington DC Protest #1
People showing that the can assemble and protest.
Right to Petition
My explanation of the right to petition is people being able to complain to the government in writing by asking other people who agree with you to sign a petition, without the fear of being punished. I think that this was included in the First Amendment because the founders did not want it to be like England where if you complained about the government you could be severely punished. A historical example of this is when the founders made the Declaration of Independence, which is really a petition to England saying that we have had enough of your rules so we are making our own country. A modern day example is when last Halloween kids at Pinecrest made a petition that said "We would wish to have no school the day after Halloween." and had everyone sign it. Unfortunately the school did not agree to the request in the petition. In my opinion I think that this was perfect to put in the First Amendment because it helps the government understand what people think the government should be doing.
Technical Writing Skills : How to Write a Petition
This is an example of a petition.
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.
The right of people to keep and bear arms to me means that people can own guns. But there is a minor detail, the should not be allowed to own assault rifles, RPG's, and any other military weapons. They should only be allowed to use hand guns and hunting rifles. I think the founders included this amendment because in England people were not allowed to own guns so they could not rebel. A historical example of why this amendment is so important is the Boston massacre because the colonists tried to rebel but the could not because they had no guns. A current day example of how this amendment is used is hunters use it to have their guns to hunt. In my opinion i think that should limit the ownership of guns to hand guns and hunting rifles because assault guns are too dangerous.
Shows that everyday people have the right to bear arms.
Answer the Call - Moose Hunting