Today you can voice your opinion and write what you believe. However there once was a law in place that went against that freedom. It was called the Sedition Act, it went against the first amendment of the United States constitution, and it turned the political parties against each other. It caused many people to become angry because their freedom to talk and express their opinion had be taken away. The reason I request for its repel is because it was a violation of the first amendment, turned political parties against each other, and because the only reason the Sedition Act was made was because of the president’s wife.
In the year 1798, President Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, as rumors of a French invasion and enemy spies frightened many Americans. In paranoia, Adams approved of the acts, which increased the residency requirement for American citizenship that were not free white men of good character. They authorized the president to imprison or deport aliens considered dangerous, and restricted speech opposing the government. On the contrary, Thomas Jefferson, strongly believed in the rights of Americans, so he argued that these acts were an abuse of presidential powers and free speech. Compared to Adams, Jefferson held a stronger position in opposing the Alien and Sedition Acts because the acts granted the president tyrannical power that restricted the activities of foreigners in the country and limited freedom of speech and of the press.
The document consisted of acts/ laws that if violated citizens would have suffered consequences. For example, the document proclaimed that if, “any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States” (Sedition Act), would have been convicted, punished, and imprisoned. Our fellow opponents, the Republicans, stated that with this law, we are eliminating freedom of speech and press from the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. That was quite incorrect. This was a necessary precaution of the prosperity and stability of the nation.
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” (U.S. cont. amend. I). The first amendment grants a person freedom of religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It protects citizens of the United States from Congress supporting one religion over others and restricting an individual’s religious choice.
For this essay I have picked symbolic speech and a seditious speech. All of these speeches come under the First Amendment of freedom of speech. This is controversial and generates lot of arguments sometimes on a national level. So, what is freedom of speech in reality? It states that “the United States Constitution prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental ...” For my symbolic speech I have chosen the Texas Vs Johnson court case.
The constitution has 27 amendments that are all meaningful and has had great effect on the U.S. but the ones we found most significant to society are the 5th, 13th, 14th, and 19th amendments. The 5th amendment states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property
The nation would be more capable of deciding what was best for the other underdeveloped countries in the surrounding region. The diplomacy was based upon the American belief that American ideals were the way of the future for the world; what was good for the US must as well be good for the countries of Latin America. The Hispanic newspaper Regeneración of April 13, 1912, quoted Robert M. La Follette's criticism of the diplomacy. He regarded the diplomacy as an outpost, intervening the nations in Central and South America by imposing the US's method and supervision. The diplomacy often resorted to military power as a solution to the internal conflicts within the region.
For example, he imposed the Selective Services Act in 1917 which authorised conscription in the US so that the military could be built up quickly and would not have to rely wholly on volunteers; according to Khan Academy this was well received by the American public as they were incredibly patriotic and believed it was their responsibility to support their nation, as such few men dodged. Wilson also passed the Espionage Act (1917) and the Sedition Act (1918) to criminalise criticism of the actions US government and armed forces during the war by censoring all forms of media, including speeches and written forms of media.
The first amendment free speech rights are not absolute. Freedom of speech includes the right which protected and simultaneously, the rights that are not protected. The rights which are protected such as right not to speak (1943), the right of students – to wear black armbands to school to protest a war (1969), to use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages (1971), to contribute money (1976), to advertise commercial products and professional services (1977), and to engage in symbolic speeches (1990). In the other hand, the rights which are not actually protected in free speech contains; inciting actions that would harm others (1919), making or distributing obscene materials (1957), bumming draft cards as an anti-war protest (1967), permitting students to print articles in a school newspaper over the objections of the school administration, of students to make an obscene speech at school-sponsored event and of students, to advocate illegal drug use at a school-sponsored event. To sum up, the first amendment of the United States of America is the most significant amendment to the maintenance of a democratic government since it states important issues like freedom of religion, freedom of speech, press, peaceful assembly and the freedom to petition the government.