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The Evolution Of The First Amendment - Online Term Paper

The Evolution Of The First Amendment



The first amendment states, "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.(encyclopedia)
The inhabitants of the North American colonies did not have a legal
right to express opposition to the British government that ruled them.
Nonetheless, throughout the late 1700s, these early Americans did voice their
discontent with the crown. For example they strongly denounced the British
parliament's enactment of a series of tax levies to pay off a large national
debt that ...

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Americans to think and speak
freely. The first Amendments early years were not entirely auspicious.
Although the early Americans enjoyed great freedom compared to citizens of other
nations, even the Constitution's framer once in power, could resist the string
temptation to circumvent the First Amendment's clear mandate. Before the 1930s,
we had no legally protected rights of free speech in anything like the form we
now know it. Critics of the government or government officials, called
seditious libel, was oftenly made a crime. Every state had a seditious libel
law when the Constitution was adopted. And within the decade of the adoption of
the First Amendment, the founding fathers in congress initiated and passed the
repressive Alien and Sedition act (1798). This act was used by the dominant
Federalists party to prosecute a number of prominent Republican newspaper
editors.(Kairys,3) When Thomas Jefferson was elected president in 1801 they also
prosecuted their critics. More ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/4/2004 04:19:59 AM
Category: Government
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 970
Pages: 4

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