Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 section 1 The First Amendment. The First Amendment “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the."— Presentation transcript:
The First Amendment “ 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. ”
First Amendment Freedoms The Founders believed that it was important for the government to protect individual rights and provide for the safety and well-being of its citizens. The Bill of Rights protects our civil liberties: freedom to act and think without government interference or fear of unfair punishment. Five basic freedoms: Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition the government.
Freedom of Religion Why did the first colonists come to America? The First Amendment prohibits Congress from establishing an official religion in the United States and protects Americans’ freedom to practice their faith as they wish. The government cannot favor one religion over another or treat people differently because of their personal beliefs.
Freedom of Speech In the United States, the First Amendment guarantees that we can say what we think, in public or in private, without fear of punishment by the government. Can you think of countries where people don’t have that right? “Speech” is a pretty broad term! Mary Beth Tinker in 1965
Freedom of the Press The First Amendment allows Americans to express themselves in print. When the First Amendment was written, “the press” consisted of books, newspapers, and magazines. The term is much broader now! The government cannot practice censorship, or banning printed materials or films simply because they are offensive, and it cannot censor information before it is published or broadcast.
Freedom of Assembly The First Amendment protects our right to gather in groups for any reason, so long as the assemblies are peaceful. Meetings, parades, political rallies, and public celebrations Governments can make rules about when and where assemblies can be held, but they cannot ban them. Also protects our right to form and join social clubs, political parties, labor unions, and other organizations.
Freedom to Petition The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to petition government. Petition: a formal request. This can be a brief written statement signed by hundreds or thousands of people or a simple letter or e-mail written by an individual. The right to petition means the right to express one’s ideas to the government. If enough people express similar views, the government might do something about it! What would you petition for?
Limits to First Amendment Freedoms The Supreme Court has decided that the need for the safety and security of Americans may justify limitations on our First Amendment freedoms. Freedom of speech does not apply if you endanger the government or other Americans Citizens should use their civil liberties wisely—in other words, without interfering with the rights of others. You may criticize government officials, but you may not spread lies that harm a person’s reputation—this is a crime known as slander if the lies are spoken and libel if they are printed. The First Amendment gives us freedom, but not total freedom to do whatever we want. Why?