First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights in America


A rich and engaging exploration of the documents that illustrate the origins and development of First Amendment freedoms in American history. Each document is introduced by a historical essay and reproduced in facsimile. Incorporating nearly 40 documents and spanning more than 300 years, First Freedoms is essential for students of American history.

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A rich and engaging exploration of the documents that illustrate the origins and development of First Amendment freedoms in American history. Each document is introduced by a historical essay and reproduced in facsimile. Incorporating nearly 40 documents and spanning more than 300 years, First Freedoms is essential for students of American history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"All high school libraries and university libraries should purchase this book. Highly Recommended."—Library Media Connection, starred review
VOYA - Walter Hogan
As noted scholar Nat Hentoff relates in his foreword, many Americans are quite ignorant about the First Amendment to the nation's Constitution. Containing five distinct rights-religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition-the First Amendment, a single sentence of less than fifty words, is one of the primary documents asserting the freedoms on which the United States was founded. Here its historical development is traced, beginning with seventeenth-century texts that preceded and inspired the amendment and continuing up to the present-day controversy over the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001. Each of thirty-seven chapters features a facsimile of a key document, introduced by a historical essay and accompanied by numerous supporting illustrations, some in color. The result is a fascinating tour of American legal and social history, through the Civil War, women's suffrage, the Scopes "monkey trial," and many other vital episodes in the continuing experiment with democracy. An extensive chapter on the creation of the First Amendment is accompanied by chapters on the closely related Fourteenth and Nineteenth Amendments. Many documents are shown in draft form, with handwritten corrections, including the First Amendment itself. Readers are shown how it was revised and merged by James Madison and other founding fathers from two earlier articles in a draft of what became the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Ideal for high school students, this richly illustrated compilation includes a chronology, classified booklists for further reading, an annotated list of Web sites, and index.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This volume presents a sequential history by telling the stories of the men and women who fought to obtain and retain freedoms that came to be guaranteed under the First Amendment. Among the personalities discussed are John Locke, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, David Walker, John Ross, Carrie Chapman Catt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John Butler, John Scopes, and Luis Valdez. In the foreword, noted First Amendment activist Nat Hentoff makes a passionate connection between past and present issues related to free speech. The 37 chapters deal with topics such as religious freedom, the Sedition Act of 1798, the Fourteenth Amendment, limiting free speech in wartime, and the struggle for women's voting rights. The fight over evolution, religious liberty and the Pledge of Allegiance, McCarthyism and the challenge to free speech, freedom of the press, flag desecration, tax dollars and religious schools, and balancing freedom and security are also addressed. The writing is lively and interesting, the information is accurate, the photographs are captioned, and the quotations are well documented. A useful time line is appended. Recommendations for further reading, annotated Web sites, and a thorough index make this an excellent resource for all libraries, as well as enjoyable reading for history buffs.-Pat Scales, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195157505
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/14/2006
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Charter of Rhode Island and Providence plantations, 1663 13
2 Two treatises of government, 1690 22
3 The New-York weekly journal, "of freedom of speech; that the same is inseparable from publick liberty," 1734 29
4 Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776 33
5 Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1786 40
6 Senate revisions to the House-passed amendments to the Constitution, 1789 45
7 The Sedition Act, 1798 50
8 Appeal to the colored citizens of the world, but in particular, and very expressly, to those of the United States of America, 1829 56
9 Request of the Cherokee people of the Aquohee and Taquohee districts, 1832 64
10 Petition to the U.S. Congress from ninety-seven citizens, 1837 70
11 Gag rule resolution, 1837 77
12 People v. Hall, 1854 82
13 General order no. 12, 1862 93
14 The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1868 99
15 An act to regulate the use of the capitol grounds, 1882 106
16 Seven-year-old Rosie, an experienced oyster-shucker, Bluffton, South Carolina, 1913 113
17 U.S. House Resolution 8753, 1918 118
18 Manifesto and program, 1919 125
19 The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1920 130
20 Tennessee House bill no. 185, 1925 135
21 The Saturday press, November 19, 1927 140
22 Press statement, 1932 146
23 Letter to Minersville, Pennsylvania, school directors, 1935 152
24 Heart Mountain Sentinel, 1942 158
25 U.S. Senate resolution 301, 1954 164
26 Heed their rising voices, 1960 169
27 Memorandum to Hugo Black, 1962 174
28 Official program for the march on Washington, 1963 180
29 Black armband, 1965 185
30 The plan of Delano, 1966 190
31 Front page, New York Times, June 13, 1971 195
32 Section 42.09, Texas state penal code, 1973 200
33 We are coming! : 1976 204
34 The Williamsburg Charter, summary of principles, 1988 210
35 Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon, et al. v. Smith et al., 1990 214
36 Zelman, Superintendent of Public Instruction of Ohio, et al. v. Simmons-Harris et al., 2002 220
37 Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, 2001 a resolution of the city of Eugene defending the Bill of Rights and civil liberties, 2002 226
Timeline of First Amendment rights in America 234
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