Monday, November 28, 2011

For My Computers In Education Class - Sorry!

For anyone who is wondering, I am currently in a Computers in Education class, and that is why I am updating my blog, as part of an assignment. It is all about the 1st Amendment, and you are more than welcome to view and comment and click on the various links to powerpoints and quizzes!

The PowerPoint (On GoogleDocs)

Make sure you have watched the powerpoint on the 1st amendment before reading this - this is part 2!
For the next part of our lesson, we will be looking at why the Founding Fathers decided to put in the five parts of the 1st amendment. These will be important on the TeacherWeb quiz at the end of this lesson, so make sure to take notes!
"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."
1) Freedom of Religion
           This was very important to the Founding Fathers because some of the first settlers who came the new world were coming to escape religious persecution. Europe had been in a constant state of wars and political strife because of religious intolerance, so to protect the new nation from that, this amendment was included.
2) Freedom of Speech
           The Founding Fathers wanted the ability to have freedom of ideas, something that Europe had censored for a very long time. Once the printing press was invented, many authorities in Europe, especially the Catholic Church, tried to censor out some ideas, including Pope Alexander VI's Index Expurgatorius, or List of Prohibited Books. The list included many books written by philosophers who helped inspire the patriots during the American Revolution, including John Locke. Many people also link freedom of speech with democracy, saying without freedom of speech that democracy will be corrupted or fail to exist.
3) Freedom of Press
           This protects the American's right to knowledge, meaning there can be less propaganda by the government because anyone who wants to publish information can. This was another way to give the government less power over the country as a whole. Going back to before the Revolutionary War, the English government had to license anything that was published. In particular, it was against the law to print anything that sounded like seditious libel - anything that criticized the government or its officials. The fear was that this could lead to public rebellions.
          An interesting fact: Most states requested freedom of press before freedom of speech, and many states have a freedom of the press clause in their state constitutions as well because of how important it was to the revolutionaries.
4) Freedom of Assembly
           This gives the American people the right to peacefully protest/demonstrate to show their views. It also means that people who want to join and associate with certain groups can without interference. It is important to remember that this is the only clause that is specifically pointed out that it must be peaceful - if there was a group about to start a riot or overthrow the government, this clause would not apply to them. This clause stems back to the pre-colonial days when the English monarchy would often restrict the right of English citizens assembling in public in fear of them overthrowing the government in response to new taxes. According to the website Revolutionary War and Beyond, "[. . .] the advocates of American liberty began to see that the right to assemble was of key importance to those who wanted to correct wrongs done by their government. If they could not assemble, they could not achieve their goals."
5) Freedom of Petition
           This guarantees that Americans have the right to petition the government to redress their grievances without fear of punishment. This was very important to the Founding Fathers because of their failed attempts to King George III and the English Parliament to redress their grievances. In the Declaration of Independence, Congress included a list of grievances against the British government. The very last grievance mentioned was:
"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."

For the next part of this lesson, please take a very quick survey at SurveryMonkey.
Click here for the link! 

Please leave a comment here to bring up anything you find important - maybe a link to a picture or an article that relates to this topic (please take your time in responding to explain the connection!) or if you have an opinion about one of our guaranteed freedoms, you are welcome to share!
For the FINAL part of this lesson, please follow the assignment on my "whiteboard" and then take the quiz on my TeacherWeb site. For those of you who need to do this, please search for my page as always.


  1. I am wondering on what ground local and state authorities have to evict the "occupy" movement camps when their right to assemble is guaranteed by a federal law?