The First AmendmentLesson 1 • Essential Questions: • How do societies balance individual and community rights? • It Matters Because: • The rights granted under the First-Amendment are among our most basic freedoms. • Guiding Question • Which individual rights are protected by the First-Amendment?
Guaranteeing Civil Liberties • Have you ever seen people protesting a law: • Have you ever wondered why police officers in a movie have to tell a suspect his or her rights • Have you ever thought about who can vote? • Civil Liberties- Freedoms we have to think and act without government interference or fears of unfair legal treatment • Many of these civil liberties are protected under the Bill of Rights • The first 10 Amendments
First Amendment-Protects 5 Basic Freedoms • Freedom of Religion • Congress cannot establish or set up any religion as the official faith of the United States (establishment clause) • Thomas Jefferson- The idea of “Separation between church and state” • Americans have the right to practice their faith in the way they want
Freedom of Speech • The right to say our opinions, in public or in private, without fear of being stopped or punished by the government for those ideas • Meetings, conversations, speeches and lectures • Words spoken in radio, television • Internet messages, art, music, clothing
Freedom of the Press • “Only a press that is free to criticize the government can keep that government from misusing its power” • The government cannot censor new reports • Censorship- the banning of printed materials or films due to alarming or offensive ideas
Freedom of Assembly • First Amendment-protects our right to gather in groups for any reason, as long as the groups are peaceful • Meetings rallies, celebrations, parades • Government can make rules about when and where these activities are held • Includes freedom of association • Form and join clubs, political parties, labor unions, and other groups
Freedom of Petition • First Amendment gives us the right to send petitions to the government • Petition-a formal request for government action • Written statement that hundreds or thousands of people sign • Could be a simple letter or email from one person • Petitions gives us the right to express ourselves to the government • If enough people express their views, the government may act.
Limits on Civil Liberty • First Amendment gives very broad rights to all Americans • Not intended to allow citizens to do whatever they want • Must be balanced against the rights of others and the community • Free speech restrictions • Slander – you have the right to criticize public officials,, but you don’t have the right to spread lies that will harm their reputation • Libel – written untruths that are harmful to someone’s reputation
Other Bill of Rights ProtectionsLesson 2 • It Matters Because: • Other parts of the Bill of Rights protects the rights of the accused. • Guiding Question • How does the Bill of Rights protect the rights of the accused? • Accused- people officially charged with crimes • The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments protects the rights of the accused • Accused-a person who is officially charge with a crime
The Fourth Amendment • The Fourth Amendment protects us against “unreasonable searches and seizures” • No officer can search a persons property or take his or her possessions at will. • Probable cause- the officer must have strong reasons to think that the person’s property was involved in a crime. • Search warrant- officer must obtain a court order allowing police to search property and seize evidence • Search suspect’s home, business or other property • Only items listed in the warrant can be taken
The Fifth Amendment • Indictment- a document issued by a grand jury to charge someone with a crime • No one can be tried for serious crime without an indictment • Someone who is indicted is not necessarily guilty • Double jeopardy- putting someone on trial for a crime he or she was previously found innocent • Can’t put a person on trial more than once for the same crime.
The Fifth Amendment • Self-incrimination- giving evidence about yourself that could lead to you being found guilty of a crime • The accused has the right to remain silent • This prevents the government from forcing people to confess to crimes they have not committed • Due process –following legal procedures • No one may be denied life, liberty, or property without due process • Laws to be followed must be reasonable • Eminent domain- the right of the government to take private property for public use • Usually land, and the government has to pay a fair price
The Sixth Amendment • Guarantees other rights to the accused • Requires that persons clearly be told the charges against them • Requires that the accused be allowed a trial by jury • Accused can choose trial by jury of a judge • Jury trial must be speedy and held in public • Jurors must be fair • If possible trial must be held in the community where the crime took place • An accused has the right to question all witnesses • An accused must be allowed to call witnesses in defense • He or she has the right to a lawyer • If they can’t afford one, the government must provide for one
The Eight Amendment • Sometimes months can pass before a trial can be held • The accused may be allowed to pay bail and be released • Bail- a sum of money used as a security deposit to ensure that an accused person who is released from jail returns for his or her trial • A judge decides how much bail the person must pay • Excessive bail (too much) is forbidden
Determining the Bail Amount • How does a judge decide the bail amount? • How much is the person able to pay? • Type of crime committed, criminal record • Will they appear in court, or will they flee • The Eight Amendment also protects from punishment that is too harsh • Also forbids “cruel and unusual punishment” • Should you get life imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread?
Additional Protection • Guiding Question: • Which other protections does the Bill of Rights offer: • Certain actions taken by the British government were abuses of power • The founders wanted to prevent these abuses • The Second Amendment-the right to keep and bear arms • The Third Amendment- Bans the quartering of soldiers • The Seventh Amendment- Concerns civil cases • The Ninth Amendment-All rights not spelled out in the Constitution are retained, or kept by the people. The people have additional rights that are not spelled out in the Bill of Rights. • The Tenth Amendment- Recognizes that the power of the federal government is limited. Any powers the Constitution does not specifically give to the federal government belongs to the states or the people
Civil War AmendmentsLesson 3 • Guiding Question: • How were civil rights extended following the Civil War? • It Matters Because: • Voting is the way people in a democracy make their wishes known. • Black codes- laws from after the Civil War that kept African Americans from holding certain jobs, gave them few property rights, and limited their rights in other ways • Suffrage- the right to vote • Poll Tax- a sum of money required of voters before they are permitted to cast a ballot