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What is the “1st Amendment”?
The 1st Amendment to the Constitution states that, “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.”
This amendment provides for the following fundamental freedoms:
Discussion: Why do you believe the Framers decided to group these rights together? What political significance did the Framers hope to achieve through the 1st Amendment?
- The framers decided to group the US first amendment to the constitution laws because the laws in that group of four together contributes to the protection of democracy. For instance, freedom of religion allows people to believe and practice whatever religion they want. Freedom of speech and press allows people to air out their opinions publicly and to publish them without the government stopping them. Freedom of assembly allows people to gather in groups as long as they are peaceful and the right to petition the government makes it possible for people to lobby the government, point out where it does not follow vital own laws and to sue if a wrong has occurred. The framers sought not only to address the specific challenges facing the nation during their lifetimes but to establish the foundational principles that would sustain and guide the new nation into an uncertain future.
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