1st Amendment

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Social Studies
American History

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1st Amendment

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1st Ammendment

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.


The First Amendment keeps the American government from making laws that might stop us from expressing rational opinions. People have the right to criticize the government and to share their opinions with others.


A free press means we can get information from many different sources. The government cannot control what is printed in newspapers, magazines and books, broadcast on TV or radio or offered online. Citizens may write letters to newspaper editors and hope those letters will be printed for others to see. They can pass out leaflets that give their opinions. They can have their own Web pages and offer their opinions to others through the many means made available by the Internet.


Citizens can come together in public and private gatherings. They can join groups for political,religious, social or recreational purposes. By organizing to accomplish a common goal, citizens can spread their ideas more effectively.


The First Amendment prevents the American government from establishing an official religion.Citizens have the freedom to attend the church, synagogue, temple or mosque of their choice – or not attend at all. The First Amendment allows us to practice our religion the way we want to.


“To petition the government for a redress of grievances” means that citizens can ask for changes in the government. They can do this by collecting signatures and sending them to their electedrepresentatives; they can write, call or e-mail their elected representatives



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