Georgia Reporter

July 25, 2011

Initial Stages in the Development of Freedom of Speech

Every individual is free to speak or express their feelings and opinions. Many years ago, freedom of speech has been amended. The problem of hate speech is considered by lots of different countries including the United States of America. Most of these countries are implementing laws so that it can be restricted. Some countries considered the hate speech as a bad effect in the community. On 1787, the Constitution of the United States was drafted. By the following year it was approved and it was being processed in 1789. In 1791, the ten amendments constituting the Bill of Rights were implemented. The new government’s powers with the consideration to speech were controlled by one of these ten amendments. Legal debates about free speech and hate speech have been made. The first amendment was explained in the middle of these debates.

The definition of the first amendment is just the same as many articles in the constitution. They are all uncertain and it gives a universal orientation for central action. But it was made open to conversation. A justification for a wide principle of freedom of speech is not offered by the Constitution. Aside from this, little guidance is offered by the Constitution. When applying the general principle to hard cases, the rationale can be vital. The first amendment cannot be used anywhere. It can only be used to the federal congress. Until today, this amendment is still leading in the courts. There is a great possibility that books, films, and speakers can be controlled by the state and local governments.

The rules and ideas of the federal and state governments about association and freedom of speech were examined during the First World War. Because of this war, federal and state governments were forced to do this. The American involvement in the First World War has increased. Because of this, numbers of issues and organizations came out. An Espionage Act was approved by the federal government in the 1917. In the following year, several amendments were added. These were referred to as the Sedition Act. Because of this, disloyal criticism of the government becomes illegal.

Anti-draft and anti-war were tried to be restrained. This was made by the Postal Service through not allowing it from the mails. The mail of organizations was removed and some socialist party leaders were convicted because of this. The conviction was under the wartime acts. This is for their resistance to conscription. There is one of the organizations that against United States involvement in the war. This organization is the American Union against Militarism or the AUAM.  During the First World War, a military draft was established. The AUAM was very concerned about this draft. They are also interested about the attempts that were done by the Postal Service to the war policy.

Cases about free speech have occurred. There is a lot of important free speech cases happened. One of these cases was on 1977. Many debates still happens after many decisions made by the Supreme Court. Free speech is still controversial and they are arguing things about this.

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