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The First Amendment
 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." 
 

                                                                         —United States Constitution

The Founding Fathers
on Free Speech

John Adams

“But none of the means of information are more sacred,

or have been cherished with more tenderness and care by

the settlers of America, than the press.”

                                                                                                                                                             

Benjamin Franklin

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty,

without freedom of speech.”

“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.”

                                                                                                                                                             

George Washington

“If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.”                                                                                                                                                

Thomas Jefferson

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

                                                                                                                                                                  

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

                                                                                                                                                                  

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