Essay about Freedom Of Speech And Expression

1279 Words Dec 16th, 2016 6 Pages
Prior to the American Revolution in the 18th century, The right to freely express yourself was barely ever recognized by governments and institutions. Instead, citizens were censored and were not able to speak out against their government, or hold opinions that were contrary to popular belief. This paper argues that everyone should be able to freely speak their mind in public without restrictions, and that freedom of speech is an absolute right.
Although limited freedom of speech and expression was practiced in the Roman Republic, the first mention of it in modern history is in 1689 with the ratification of the English Bill of Rights. The document stated that freedom of speech exists inside Parliament. However, this did not protect the right of citizens to speak freely in public, it merely protected the proceedings and debates inside parliament. The American Constitution was the first document which protected the right to speak freely in public for every citizen. Ratified in 1788, the document states that “Congress shall make no law... 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.” This means that there are to be no laws created that limit the speech of American Citizens. Soon after the ratification of the Constitution, France passed the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in the midst of the French Revolution which also protected freedom of…

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