First Amendment: A Symbol Of Civilized Nation

  • Words 447
  • Page 1
Download PDF

The 1st amendment is crucial to keeping a civilized nation as well as it keeps our government from completely falling apart. This amendment protects a person’s freedom of speech, religion, press, and assembly. The first amendment is one of the most controversial amendments in the United States, mainly because the huge question of what is the context of this “freedom”. In freedom of speech, it does not just consist of what you say but what you feel, express etc. The 1st amendment does not grant 100% freedom, because in certain locations this freedom is limited, such as in schools.

Near the time of World War 1, the Espionage act was put into place, this made sure that there was no interference with military actions and no rebellion in the military. In the case Schenck V. United States, the man Charles Schenck was apart of the socialist party, this party strongly believed the military draft was wrong. Due to this, he printed several fliers that explained that if you’re drafted into the war to simply refuse the draft. When the police noticed what Charles was doing, they simply arrested him for going against the Espionage act. When he was put to trial, the court ruled him guilty, as he went against the first amendment and completely broke the espionage rule. Although the first amendment protects your freedom of speech, as Schenck fought, it does not work completely if the speech creates a clear form of danger, in which the court may restrict his speech, which is called the “Clear and present danger doctrine.”

Click to get a unique essay

Our writers can write you a new plagiarism-free essay on any topic

The 1st amendment is tested in the case Texas V. Johnson, 1989. This case was about a man named Gregory Lee Johnson and how he burned an American flag right outside the Dallas city hall. Johnsons excuse of burning the flag was “he was tired of the Reagan administration policies,” This was not an excuse that the police considered and arrested him. When Johnson was taken to court he was charged with 2 years in jail a $2,000 fine for the destruction of our nation’s symbol. When the case was sent to the Supreme Court, the court used the 5-4 decision and said Johnson was projected under the 1st amendment. Although this act was very disrespectful to our nation it is a part of our freedom of symbolic speech. Symbolic speech is something in the form of how people see it no f what you say, such as art, etc. This case had brought so much conflict to Texas that some people considered making a law that it is illegal to burn an American flag, but of course they could not officially go through with it.


We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.