[RELO] American Culture Series: Freedom of Expression

780 views
638 views

Published on

Presented by ACAO Melissa Schumi Jones and RELO Officer David Fay

Published in: Education, News & Politics
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
780
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
16
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • “The Scene at the Signing of the Constitution, oil painting (reproduction) by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940’From archives.gov,Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol, Washington, DCPresidential portraits (whitehouse.gov)A Brief History of the Bill of Rights and the First AmendmentThe first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States became known as the Bill of Rights because they contained freedoms that Americans held to be their inalienable rights. So important were these rights that several states insisted on a promise of amendments guaranteeing individual rights before they would ratify the Constitution.The Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791, was the result of more than a century of experience with rights in America and many centuries before that in England. The major British precursors to the Bill of Rights are:The Magna Carta (1215).Petition of Right (1628).Bill of Rights (1689).Rights were crucial to America’s founding. Because their rights in England were threatened, many future Americans left their homeland to form new colonies in a strange land. And because their rights were threatened, the colonists declared independence from England and created a new nation to secure those rights.While the new state governments protected individual rights, the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, did not. The weak national government under the Articles of Confederation created many problems. In 1787, these problems finally led to a convention to draft a new charter for the national government, the Constitution of the United States. Lack of a bill of rights became the main reason many people opposed the Constitution.When New Hampshire became the necessary ninth state to ratify it, the Constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788. Ratification was achieved only through the promise of amendments to protect individual rights. Congressional debates over the Bill of Rights drafted by James Madison, then a U.S. representative from Virginia, were, in Madison’s words, “extremely difficult and fatiguing.” Members of Congress challenged each other to duels at one passionate point in the debates. Congress submitted a bill of rights with 12 amendments to the states for ratification in September 1789. Two were not ratified: one changing the apportionment of Congress and the other forbidding congressional pay raises to take effect until after the next election. (This latter amendment was ratified in 1992 as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution.)On Dec. 15, 1791, Virginia ratified the 10 amendments. This satisfied the requirement of approval by three-fourths of the states, and the Bill of Rights became part of the law of the land.Originally the Bill of Rights only limited the national government and did not apply to the states. But after the fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, the Supreme Court began applying the provisions of the Bill of Rights — one by one — to the states. In 1925, the Supreme Court ruled that no state or local government could deny its citizens free-speech and free-press rights protected by the First Amendment.Often considered the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment protects rights essential to democratic government and those rights Americans hold most dear: freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of assembly and of petition. Excerpts from The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide (Linda Monk, Close Up Foundation, 1991) included in this brief history of the First Amendment are reprinted with permission of the Close Up Foundation.
  • A Brief History of the Bill of Rights and the First AmendmentThe first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States became known as the Bill of Rights because they contained freedoms that Americans held to be their inalienable rights. So important were these rights that several states insisted on a promise of amendments guaranteeing individual rights before they would ratify the Constitution.The Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791, was the result of more than a century of experience with rights in America and many centuries before that in England. The major British precursors to the Bill of Rights are:The Magna Carta (1215).Petition of Right (1628).Bill of Rights (1689).Rights were crucial to America’s founding. Because their rights in England were threatened, many future Americans left their homeland to form new colonies in a strange land. And because their rights were threatened, the colonists declared independence from England and created a new nation to secure those rights.While the new state governments protected individual rights, the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, did not. The weak national government under the Articles of Confederation created many problems. In 1787, these problems finally led to a convention to draft a new charter for the national government, the Constitution of the United States. Lack of a bill of rights became the main reason many people opposed the Constitution.When New Hampshire became the necessary ninth state to ratify it, the Constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788. Ratification was achieved only through the promise of amendments to protect individual rights. Congressional debates over the Bill of Rights drafted by James Madison, then a U.S. representative from Virginia, were, in Madison’s words, “extremely difficult and fatiguing.” Members of Congress challenged each other to duels at one passionate point in the debates. Congress submitted a bill of rights with 12 amendments to the states for ratification in September 1789. Two were not ratified: one changing the apportionment of Congress and the other forbidding congressional pay raises to take effect until after the next election. (This latter amendment was ratified in 1992 as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution.)On Dec. 15, 1791, Virginia ratified the 10 amendments. This satisfied the requirement of approval by three-fourths of the states, and the Bill of Rights became part of the law of the land.Originally the Bill of Rights only limited the national government and did not apply to the states. But after the fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, the Supreme Court began applying the provisions of the Bill of Rights — one by one — to the states. In 1925, the Supreme Court ruled that no state or local government could deny its citizens free-speech and free-press rights protected by the First Amendment.Often considered the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment protects rights essential to democratic government and those rights Americans hold most dear: freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of assembly and of petition. Excerpts from The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide (Linda Monk, Close Up Foundation, 1991) included in this brief history of the First Amendment are reprinted with permission of the Close Up Foundation.
  • A Brief History of the Bill of Rights and the First AmendmentThe first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States became known as the Bill of Rights because they contained freedoms that Americans held to be their inalienable rights. So important were these rights that several states insisted on a promise of amendments guaranteeing individual rights before they would ratify the Constitution.The Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791, was the result of more than a century of experience with rights in America and many centuries before that in England. The major British precursors to the Bill of Rights are:The Magna Carta (1215).Petition of Right (1628).Bill of Rights (1689).Rights were crucial to America’s founding. Because their rights in England were threatened, many future Americans left their homeland to form new colonies in a strange land. And because their rights were threatened, the colonists declared independence from England and created a new nation to secure those rights.While the new state governments protected individual rights, the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, did not. The weak national government under the Articles of Confederation created many problems. In 1787, these problems finally led to a convention to draft a new charter for the national government, the Constitution of the United States. Lack of a bill of rights became the main reason many people opposed the Constitution.When New Hampshire became the necessary ninth state to ratify it, the Constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788. Ratification was achieved only through the promise of amendments to protect individual rights. Congressional debates over the Bill of Rights drafted by James Madison, then a U.S. representative from Virginia, were, in Madison’s words, “extremely difficult and fatiguing.” Members of Congress challenged each other to duels at one passionate point in the debates. Congress submitted a bill of rights with 12 amendments to the states for ratification in September 1789. Two were not ratified: one changing the apportionment of Congress and the other forbidding congressional pay raises to take effect until after the next election. (This latter amendment was ratified in 1992 as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution.)On Dec. 15, 1791, Virginia ratified the 10 amendments. This satisfied the requirement of approval by three-fourths of the states, and the Bill of Rights became part of the law of the land.Originally the Bill of Rights only limited the national government and did not apply to the states. But after the fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, the Supreme Court began applying the provisions of the Bill of Rights — one by one — to the states. In 1925, the Supreme Court ruled that no state or local government could deny its citizens free-speech and free-press rights protected by the First Amendment.Often considered the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment protects rights essential to democratic government and those rights Americans hold most dear: freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of assembly and of petition. Excerpts from The Bill of Rights: A User's Guide (Linda Monk, Close Up Foundation, 1991) included in this brief history of the First Amendment are reprinted with permission of the Close Up Foundation.
  • Illustration of the ACLU.org website; postage stamp graphic from wikimedia commons.
  • Anti-Proposition 8 protesters wave a rainbow flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, March 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
  • Cartoon from aclu.org websitePhoto from unesco.org website
  • UN Statistics from 2012121 journalists were killed (nearly double the previous year38 journalists were kidnapped879 journalists were arrested1,993 journalists were physically attacked or threatened
  • Image from shutterstock
  • Does Free Speech mean you can say whatever you want? What if it hurts someone’s feelings? Puts someone in danger?How is Freedom of Speech protected in my/your/our country?Should everyone have access to the Internet? Why or Why not?Should Internet access be Free,? Why or Why Not?
  • [RELO] American Culture Series: Freedom of Expression

    1. 1. American CultureWebinarsForEnglish Language TeachersBrought to you by :U.S. Embassy Lima’s Public Affairs Section
    2. 2. WELCOME!Our goal: to provide info on U.S. cultureAND to help you create an effective plan to use inyour classroom.Please ask questions! That’s why we’re here.
    3. 3. Freedom of Expression
    4. 4. Founding Fathers and Freedom
    5. 5. U.S. Constitution“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfectUnion, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for thecommon defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure theBlessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain andestablish this Constitution for the United States of America.”– From the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, signed on September 17, 1787
    6. 6. The First Amendment“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom ofspeech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably toassemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”– From the Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
    7. 7. Freedom of Speech• The U.S. government and its citizen take the right to Freedom ofSpeech very seriously, but sometimes Freedom of Speech iscontroversial, even today.• Still, there are some restrictions: speech that is considered an“incitement to crime, true threats, commercial speech, defamationof character….” These are just a few examples and relate to casesthat have reached the U.S. Supreme Court.• Discussion question for students: Is Freedom of Speech in yourcommunity? In your school? Can you give an example of Free Speechfrom your own experience?
    8. 8. Freedom of Speech in U.S. history
    9. 9. Freedom of the Press• Freedom of Press in the United States means the government is prohibitedfrom interfering in the publication or distribution of news, information, oropinion.• Like Freedom of Speech, there are some restrictions under the law, againstdefamation or copyright infringement.• In the United States, like many countries around the world, citizens rely onthe media to investigate what the government says or individual politicianssay. Sometimes this leads to conflict between the media and thegovernment, but both have an important role to play in a democratic society.• Question for student discussion: Do you believe what you read newspapers(hear on tv, radio, etc…)? Why or Why not? Do you think it is the media’sresponsibility to tell the truth?
    10. 10. Freedom of the PressUNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day celebratedeach year on May 3Statistics from 2012• 121 journalists were killed(nearly double from 2011)• 38 journalists were kidnapped• 879 journalists were arrested• 1,993 journalists were physicallyattacked or threatenedTawakkol Karman, 2011 Laureate for theNobel Peace Prize delivering the keynotespeech during the World Press Freedom Day2012 in Tunis, Tunisia
    11. 11. Internet Freedom• Internet Freedom not covered in the First Amendment – a new area forFreedom of Expression.• U.S Congress issued a resolution in 2012, stating that “it is the consistentand unequivocal policy of the United States to promote a global Internetfree from government control.”• Countries have different laws about Internet freedom, some countriesdo not allow their citizens to access the Internet without restriction.• UNESCO is also focused on Internet freedom, particularly on settingstandards for laws and regulations in member states, as anothercomponent of its overall efforts to promote Freedom of Expression.
    12. 12. Why does Freedom of Expression Matter?• Young people all over the world are faced withquestions about free speech. Increased use of theInternet for social interaction and activism will onlycontinue to increase.• Language, like information and Internet access, is atool. Rules and laws governing freedom of expressioninfluence how we use these important tools.• Can you think of any other reasons?
    13. 13. Plan Your Lesson Plan1) What are your topics?2) What kind of questions/conversations starterswill you ask?3) What new vocabulary do you need?4) What activities can you do with your students?
    14. 14. Discussion Questions• Does Free Speech mean you can say whateveryou want? What if it hurts someone’sfeelings? Puts someone in danger?• How is Freedom of Speech protected inmy/your/our country?• Should everyone have access to the Internet?Should Internet access be Free? Why or Whynot?
    15. 15. VocabularyFREEDOM LIBERTYSPEECH FOUNDING FATHERSPRESS UNALIENABLE RIGHTSCITIZEN BILL OF RIGHTSVALUE AMENDMENTINTERNET JOURNALISTSOCIAL MEDIA SELF-EXPRESSIONACCESS CENSORSHIP
    16. 16. Activities1) Activity #1 – Personal Identity Expression• Brainstorm a list of adjectives that might describe a person.Encourage students to write them on the board. Identify whethereach adjective is positive (+) or negative (-). * Remember! Anadjective could be both positive and negative depending oncontext.• Distribute a notecard-sized index card and magazines. Ask thefollowing question: “Which adjective(s) most describe you?”• Have students cut out adjectives from magazines that describethemselves.
    17. 17. Activity #1 Photos
    18. 18. Activities2) Activity #2 – Free Speech and Social Media• Students trade their identity cards created in Activity 1with another person in the class. Students write out a‘faux’ Facebook message posting based on the identitythey see from the cards.• Ask students to read these postings to their classmates.What would their comments be? How does it feel whensomeone responds negatively to your post? How aboutpositively?• Students discuss whether their comments on FB shouldbe more positive or negative in content and tone.
    19. 19. Activities3) Activity #3 – Citizen Journalism (ForAdvanced Students)• Pick a question or topic. Ask students to write a paragraph expressingtheir opinion. If time allows, look for pictures in a magazine or onlinethat illustrates the topic. Combine all the pieces onto one-two page“newspaper” and publish it, by printing copies for all the students.• Investigate a topic. Separate students into small groups. Each groupwill investigate an issue at their school or neighborhood and then writea 1 paragraph news story. This story should include the mostimportant questions of journalism, “Who, What, Where, When andWhy?” Compile the news articles on onto one-two page“newspaper” and publish it, by printing copies for all the students.Have students read each others stories and ask questions.Note: This Citizen Journalism activity can be used for many topics to practice –not just Freedom of Expression!
    20. 20. ResourcesAmerican English webpage:americanenglish.state.govRELO Andes webpage:reloandes.comRELO Andes webinar archive:goo.gl/K7TIS
    21. 21. QUESTIONS?Remember:You can check out the webinars and thecorresponding resources on theRELO Andes blog - reloandes.com

    ×