Why is the First Amendment Important Essay Example


The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which contains the right to freedom of speech is a very important amendment of the United States. It is part of the Bill of Rights and is a big part of Americans' lives now, too. It states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise therefore, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

This amendment addressed the problem of people’s right to speak freely. Freedom of speech is the right to express opinions, ideas, and information without the government's control. The Revolutionary War led up to the adoption of the amendment. People did not have any rights, it was mostly the government who made most of the rules and controlled the US. Once the US became an independent country, they didn't want to be part of England. 

They wanted to safeguard their rights. So the government came up with the Bill of Rights. In 1787 a group of politicians started writing the Constitution, like Madison and Hamilton. Antifederalists contested the Constitution. They felt it gave the government too much power. The First Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the Bill of Rights. According to American History, Beginnings Through Reconstruction, "Government is instituted for protection, safety and happiness of the people. The origin of all power is in people, and that they have an [incontestable] right to check the creatures of their own creation, vested with certain powers to guard the life, liberty and property of the community."

This amendment has a good purpose and is a very important amendment because it is part of the Bill of Rights. It also gives Americans much more freedom because it means people can speak freely and more ideas can be shared. Before this amendment was created the U.S was more based on government control. The Bill of Rights is very important because it names and protects the rights of people of the U.S. This also ensured people that they could speak freely and not have any problems with the government. 

The Debs case was a case that was related to the rights in The First Amendment, especially freedom of speech. Debs was accused of violating the Espionage Act in 1917 during World War I because he encouraged people not to be in the MIlitary during the time when the recruitment was happening. He asserted that he should be able to express what he thinks and what he feels about certain events according to The First Amendment and freedom of speech. According to oyez.org, Debs v. United States, he was accused of “violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for allegedly attempting to cause insubordination and refusal of duty in the US military. He was also accused of attempted obstruction of recruitment and enlistment. 

He appealed his conviction on First Amendment grounds." It was argued  on January 27 and ended January 28, 1919. It was decided on March 10, 1919. Debs made his speech in Canton, Ohio. The case reached the U.S Supreme Court, and the court supported Debs’s conviction, so he went to jail. Debs was upset that The First Amendment did not protect anti-war speech designed to stop recruiting. America wanted to keep drafting people into the army and did not want anyone to stop them. Debs depended on his actions, stating that, "I have been accused of obstructing the war. I admit it. Gentlemen, I abhor war. I would oppose war if I stood alone." This case teaches Americans that there are limits to free speech in America and that not everything someone wants to tell everyone can be said.

Readers should remember that this amendment was very important and is still important for the United States. It is also a part of The Bill Of Rights. This amendment gave a lot of freedom to people in America and was a big change. It made people more comfortable to talk about what they think is important and gave people the right to speak freely. This amendment gave Americans a voice on issues they felt were important and that they wanted to express their opinion on. The First Amendment also connects to some of the other amendments and many current events happening today such as the case between President Donald Trump and Clarence Thomas. In this case Thomas wanted to revisit The Sullivan case from 1964. This case was about whether or not people should have the right to criticize the government. 

This case was revised because later after it was decided there was more thought about how The First Amendment and freedom of speech affects the case and whether or not it was the right decision. This amendment did bring people together in many ways. It brought the whole community of the US together because it was a huge and important step for human rights and voice. Without this amendment, many things would be different because no one could express their thoughts on things happening in their country without government interference.

This opened up a lot of new and better things to the US. It also brought people together because people could relate to each other and past experience to help an idea on an issue. It allows more people to speak freely and allows people to agree, but also disagree with one another. In some ways, this amendment tore people apart because some people wanted congress and the government to be more powerful and decide more things. In all, The First Amendment and freedom of speech had many great impacts and some poor impacts on the U.S.

 

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