The Five Freedoms Granted By The 1st Amendment
While many Americans are quick to lay claim to their 1st amendment rights, many people are uncertain of what these are. Developing a more comprehensive understanding of the Bill of Rights is a very vital part of protecting the freedoms it grants. The following is five fundamental rights that are defined under the 1st amendment.
1. The Right To Petition The Government
In the efforts to maintain a government that is established by the people and for the people, the 1st amendment grants American citizens the right to petition their government against or in favor of legislation and policies that impact them. People can collect signatures in support of their causes, or they can lobby legislative authorities.
- Freedom Of Press
One of the most important rights granted by the Bill of Rights is the freedom to publish opinions, news and other information without interference from the government. A government that is designed by the people, and for the people must have a series of checks and balances in place. These checks and balances are constantly made to ensure that no one legislative authority is gaining too much power and over-arching the rights of the people. The Fourth Estate, or the press, is a vital component of this system of checks and balances. The press is responsible for reporting government activities to the public and keeping the public informed of all new developments. Without the right to publish news without repercussions, the public cannot remain sufficiently knowledgeable for maintaining the desired balance of power between government and citizens. While the freedom of the press applies to newspapers, print journals, magazines and other publications, it also applies to individual citizens. People can secure time slots on public-access television, create their own websites or create and distribute leaflets as a way of responding to different government actions and world events.
- The Right To Assemble
Having a public that is free to assemble and protest, and demonstrate is also vital for protecting the people’s control over the government. The Bill of Rights grants American citizens the right to come together, advocate for their causes and express their views in a non-violent fashion. Protests and demonstrations are among some of the most effective actions for dealing with unacceptable government behaviors, addressing unsavory actions on the part of legislative bodies and inciting change.
- Freedom Of Religion
The Bill of Rights also declares the separation of church and state. This means that the government cannot interfere with a person’s choice to practice or not practice any form of religion. People have the right to practice or not practice any faith of their choosing and can do so without interference from the government.
- Freedom Of Speech
Freedom of speech is the best-known 1st amendment right. It affords people the right to speak their thoughts and opinions without government approval or interference. What many people do not understand about this basic right is the fact that it is worded and designed to protect the right to all people to express their opinions, even when these opinions are highly unpopular or unsavory. Thus, many citizens who have marched and demonstrated in an effort to protect this fundamental right, have done so in instances in which they were fighting for the rights of people who were publicly airing opinions that they did not agree with.