Thursday, March 12, 2009

First Amendment

"It was during the progressive era, particularly between 1910 and 1917 that a free speech movement began to stir and writers and artists in rebellion against genteel culture discovered a common cause with radical dissenters on the left in the battle against censorship. A new Generation of young intellectuals, convinced that America's old Puritan "Hypocrisy stood in the way of honest understanding and full enjoyment of life, sought to open up discussion of sex, birth control, and forbidden subjects" (Starr pg 268). This quote in chapter 8 shows the fear that many Americans felt about freedom of speech. America was a country that lived by censorship. Censorship put rules and regulations on society by the government. The first amendment helped enforce freedom of speech. Without this Amendment society as well as the mass media would not be the same.


At 10:10 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

The quoation you have chosen is discussing the backlash against moral censorship that challenged the culture of prudery that dominated the country before the end of WWI.

The First Amendment is as old as the Constitution. It's existence alone doesn't defend free speech. That takes political action from organized groups of citizens. Social movements demand censorship and other social movements agitate for freedom of speech. As Madison argued: the Bill of Rights is just a 'parchment barrier,' it doesn't protect by itself.


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