The First Amendment
By Roni Rountree
"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." - The U.S. Constitution
What does this mean? This means that the U.S. Government can't establish any religion in the country and that people have the freedom to practice their religion anywhere at any time. This also means that you are allowed to say whatever you want as long as it is not threatening and the press can say whatever they want as long as it does not pose a threat is correct. Also, the people in the U.S. can protest peacefully without riots and violence. And what it means to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, is to make a petition to recall a Government action.
The First Amendment was created because the citizens demanded freedom of religion. Most of the colonist migrated to America because they wanted religious freedom so it was essential that the Bill of Rights included religious freedom. Also, if the First Amendment didn't include freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to petition the Government, the Government or another power could make a bad decision which could lead to larger problems.
The First Amendment was ratified on December 15th, 1791. Once the First Amendment was passed, no one could restrict others from practicing their religion whenever they wanted. For example, your teacher could not stop you from praying during class. Also, if a person said "I hate the Government!" they would not get in trouble because of the First Amendment. If a group of people were silently protesting, they would not get punished because the First Amendment allows people to protest peacefully. The First Amendment allows tabloids and other forms of press to write about people. And people are allowed to sue the Government because they have the right to petition the Government according to the First Amendment. Without the First Amendment, a war could be started because someone was not allowed to pray at a certain time, people could get arrested for saying their opinions about the Government, the press could get sued for publishing embarrassing facts about people, people could not attempt to stop a company from doing something, and the Government could make an incorrect action and the people could not stop them from continuing it.
This gives the U.S. citizens the right to:
- Practice religion and to have or not have any religion they want.
- Voice their opinions and thoughts.
- Freedom to publish facts about other people.
- Free to protest peacefully.
- Allowed to petition or sue the Government.
Thank you for enjoying this presentation and have a lovely day. I used