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why was the first amendment added to the constitution

Schenck v. United States, 1919: In this case, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Socialist Party activist Charles Schenck after he distributed fliers urging young men to dodge the draft during. Schenck v. United States
helped define limits of freedom of speech, creating the Бclear and present dangerБ standard, explaining when the government is allowed to limit free speech. In this case, the Supreme Court viewed draft resistant as dangerous to national security. New York Times Co. v. United States, 1971: This landmark Supreme Court case made it possible for The New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the contents of the Papers without risk of government censorship. The were a top-secret Department of Defense study of U. S. political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.


Published portions of the Pentagon Papers revealed that the presidential administrations of, and had all misled the public about the degree of U. S. involvement in Vietnam. Texas v. Johnson, 1990: Gregory Lee Johnson, a youth communist, burned a flag during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, to protest the Reagan administration. The Supreme Court reversed a Texas courtБs decision that Johnson broke the law by desecrating the flag. This Supreme Court Case invalidated statutes in Texas and 47 other states prohibiting flag-burning. The First Amendment of the United States was ratified, along with nine other amendments to the Constitution of the United States making up the Bill of Rights, on December 15, 1791.


The text of the First Amendment reads: 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. These forty-five words encompass the most basic of American rights: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of assembly, and the right of petition. But what do those words mean? The meaning was not clear in 1791 and still is the subject of continuing interpretation and dispute in the 21 Century.


Century. Yes the words were there, but the first word of the First Amendment restricted its sweep to the federal government: БCongress shall make no law. Б And even in its 18 Century origins, despite democratic stirrings and impulses to expanding freedom among some leaders, there is reason to believe that the Bill of Rights was offered as an 18 Century political compromise, a hollow gesture in comparison to the sweeping words. When the FederalistsБthose favoring the centralized government proposed by the draft Constitution of 1787---feared that opposition by the Antifederalists would stop adoption of the second БFrame of GovernnmentБ (to replace the Articles of Confederation).

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