Civil Liberties

Essay by varialHigh School, 11th gradeA, June 2006

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Civil Liberties are the freedoms people have a right to in a society. The idea of civil liberties is embedded in the Bill of Rights. The Bills Of Rights are the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These amendments deal with basic liberties such as freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and the press, protection against self-incrimination in a legal proceeding, unreasonable search and seizure, and cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to a speedy and fair trial. I feel the 1st amendment is most important because it exercises our right of freedom of speech and right of the people peaceably to assemble.

"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."-- Amendment One, Bill of Rights, United States Constitution. Thomas Jefferson once said "A democracy cannot be both ignorant and free." This was the common attitude of the enlightened men who settled in the United States. They believed that if the new U.S. citizens failed to take care to share information that they would be worse off than they had been as subjects of the British monarchy. The new American settlers brought with them a desire for democracy and openness. Using this new information as a guide the constitutional fathers wrote the new constitution a Bill of Rights.

The freedom of speech and expression is not a luxury of democracy. It should rather be a necessity. In order for a democratic form of government to function it must have free expression. The United States free society has come about mainly because of public debate and disclosure. The first amendment has been...