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Why The First Amendment Is The Most Important Essay

The Importance of the First Amendment Essays

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The Importance of 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," this Amendment is the most important part of the constitution. Without free speech, we the people of the United States would not be able to speak openly and freely about issues that affect our everyday life.

Had it not been for Katie Stanton and Susan B. Anthony exercising their first amendment right to free speech and peaceful assembly, and the press covering and catching the women's suffrage movement it is possible that women may not have gained the legal right to vote until many years later. Many amendments to the Constitution were started by…show more content…

Due to people using their first amendment rights the Civil Rights Act was put into effect in 1964.

DR. Martin Luther King Jr. used free speech and the right to public assembly when he spoke from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and people listened and change was brought about by his speech. If the first amendment right was never ratified, we might be living in a nation that separates us on our race, sex or age. Through this amendment, the people have caused such enormous changes that even other nations have taken notice and adopted similar laws and policies.

There are also times when information is released to the public, which could be potentially harmful to our national security. Ultimately Freedom of the Press is an essential right. For the press, they feel the need to inform people of situations that arise, such as health care issues (probably to raise their revenue but also because if they were part of the general public, they would want to be informed). The government may not be ready to tell it's people that there is a potentially life threatening disease in populated areas, in fear that it might cause a panic. The press on the other hand, will supply its readers with the information. With the advent of the Internet, freedom of speech has come under close investigation. Although we as Americans are allowed to speak our mind, there comes a time when we are faced with materials we find offensive and repugnant. So, the question arises; should

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The importance of the first amendment

By Daniel DooleyOctober 18, 2012

The following is the winner of The Daily Cougar’s Constitution Day essay contest. 

When we consider our rights as codified in the Constitution, we should always remember the first amendment as foremost among the rest. Without our basic and essential rights established by that first amendment, the others would have little to no meaning and hardly any force. If we could not petition our government, if we could not speak freely and criticize our government — not to mention setting those criticisms into print — where would our freedoms be? Without these basic liberties, how could we claim membership in a society free and open to all?

Freedom to practice one’s religion is not only a staple to preserve those disparate views that constituted America’s founding, but it allows the U.S. to flourish as a melting pot of cultures. It is easy to forget that we are also immigrants, or descendants of immigrants, and that for many, emigration to the States was preceded by religious persecution. Such was the situation for my ancestors. Faced with marginalization, and deemed second-class citizens, a small Slavic minority, known as Wends, fled Prussia and East Germany to preserve their culture, language and religion in America by establishing a community in Texas. The increased pressure from all sides to assimilate, abandon their traditions and cultural identity in favor of a Germanic one, led to a diaspora for freer and tolerant lands.

Everyone has a story, an ancestry, a reason for being here; but without an explicit guarantee of such rights to liberty, those stories may have well been different altogether. Unlike some others whose ancestries are lost, I am fortunate enough to have that narrative. I can place myself into a history that holds meaning for me, which grants me a foundation for being American. I can understand that without those precious few rights outlined in the first amendment, we could never have become the nation we know today. Those freedoms are what gave us that opportunity, and are so ingrained that we can no more give them up, than if we were to give up completely being American. Such a catastrophe would ruin the story we’ve built here.

Daniel Dooley is a philosophy graduate student and winner of The Daily Cougar’s Constiution Day competition.

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