Free Speech Viewing Guide
Freedom of speech is a bedrock principle in the United States. Why did the Founders include protections for it in the Bill of Rights?
- Why is freedom of speech essential in a democracy?
- In your own words, define the “marketplace of ideas.”
- What did the Sedition Act of 1798 ban?
- What did the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 do?
- What is the “Clear and Present Danger” doctrine?
- In the modern day, what are some limits that the government may apply to speech?
More of this Category
Why is Free Speech Essential to Self-Government?
America's Founders recognized the necessity of vigorous public debate and enshrined the right to speak freely in the Bill of Rights. This component of the Constitution protects a wide range of speech, including speech we might find disagreeable. While the First Amendment's primary purpose was to protect political speech, its protections do have limits. This lesson explores this essential principle of free speech.
Freedom of Speech: General
How has the Freedom of Speech been interpreted by the Supreme Court? Explore these landmark cases to better understand this important constitutional right.
Provisions to the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech are continually being interpreted to balance the powers of the government and civil liberties of individuals. Explore how the Supreme Court has both protected and limited free speech, as well as how these civil liberties extend to school campuses.