1st Amendment

 

President George Washington

What is the 1st Amendment?
The 1st Amendment is about Freedom of Religion, the Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression. It is also referred to as the Establishment Clause.

Summary of the 1st Amendment
Summary: The 1st Amendment states that
people have the right to petition the Government and the right of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly (meeting).

1st Amendment - Freedom of Religion, Press and Expression
George Washington was the 1st American President who served in office from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. One of the key events during his presidency was the ratification of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, which includes the 1st amendment, was ratified (meaning approved) on December 15, 1791.

1st Amendment Simplified Summary
A simplified summary of the 1st Amendment is:

 Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press, Assembly and Petition

1st Amendment Text - The First Amendment
The original full text of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution is as follows:

1st Amendment Text

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.

1st Amendment: Cause and Reason
The cause or reason for this addition to the Constitution was due to the tyranny of the British who had suppressed free speech and the right to have public meetings. Americans also wanted to ensure their right to religious freedom, a reason why many had travelled thousands of miles to their new home in America. 

1st Amendment Meaning, Explanation and Summary
The outrage of the early colonists against the treatment, and the laws, imposed by the British led to the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. The meaning of the words and phrases in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution are explained as follows:

1st Amendment: Meaning of the Words of the Amendment

"No Establishment of Religion..." Meaning: It prevents the government from imposing an official religion in America leaving citizens free to choose the religion of their choice, or to choose not to have a religion.  

"Freedom of Speech..." Meaning: It prevents the government from passing any laws that might stop people from saying what they think.

"Freedom of the press... " Meaning: It prevents the government from passing any laws that prevent access to information. Although this originally applied to newspapers, leaflets and books, in modern times it also applies to expressing opinions across all media, including TV and the internet.
 
"Right of People to assemble..." Meaning: This allows people to meet together in public or in private to express their opinions and their ideas freely and without fear of retribution.

"Petition the Government for a redress of grievances" Meaning: This allows American citizens to express their opinions to the government, especially in situations where they believe are unjust. It allows people to petition government to 'right a wrong'.

The Right of Petition was highlighted by the 1836 Gag Rule.

Meaning of the Words of the First Amendment

 

Presidential Seal

 

Who wrote the 1st Amendment of the Constitution?
James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution", wrote the 1st Amendment in 1789 as one of the first 10 amendments collectively known as the Bill of Rights. The 1st amendment about Freedom of Religion, Press and Expression was ratified on December 15, 1791.

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.

President George Washington Video
The article on the 1st Amendment of the Constitution provides the text, definition and history of one of the major achievements of his presidential term in office. The following video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 1st American President whose presidency spanned from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.

 

 

 

1st Amendment of the Constitution
 
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Bill of Rights - The First Amendment of the Constitution
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Summary and Meaning of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution
First - Freedom of Religion, Press and Expression for schools, homework, kids and children
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