The First Amendment

821 Words4 Pages
The First Amendment has five parts to it; freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. This amendment was passed by Congress on September 25, 1789 and it was ratified by the states on December 15, 1791. The Constitution says, “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 to peacefully assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Overall, the First Amendment protects one’s right to express themselves in America. What this means is that Congress cannot establish a nationwide religion, and that the people have the right to speak and write freely. This is important…show more content…
To start, freedom of religion was important to the framers and the citizens because they had dealt with religious persecution before America separated from Britain. They wanted the ability to practice their religion of choice freely, without the fear of being punished. Also, many wished for religion to be separate from the government, an idea presented by Thomas Jefferson. This would mean that the government would never be able to define one religion for the country, which had previously happened when Britain ruled the colonies. To add, freedom of speech was very important to George Washington and he greatly influenced it being included. In 1783 he said, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be lead, like sheep to the slaughter.” This reveals that freedom of speech is vital to the citizen’s rights. In 1534, the monarchs in England restricted what could be printed. Although we still have some restrictions of what content is allowed on the media, opinions, thoughts, and ideas can all be presented clearly through press. Lastly, freedom to assemble and to petition the government was added so that the government could not take away the citizen’s rights to assemble and petition, which was done in 1774 after the Boston Tea Party. The Intolerable Acts took away the citizen’s rights to assemble more than once a year without the government’s permission. Therefore, the framers thought it appropriate to make…show more content…
If one was not able to talk freely, it would be difficult for individuals with different opinions and thoughts to say or do things to show the way they feel. If freedom of speech was never accepted, other parts of the Constitution may not have been written, because people wouldn’t have been able to talk. There is a current controversy surrounding freedom of religion and Muslims in America. Some stereotypes say that the Muslim religion goes hand in hand with terrorism. Some people also believe that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in America, but freedom of religion protects that opinion, because it’s one’s right to believe in whatever they would like. This amendment allows us to express ourselves and our opinions, which makes America full of
Open Document