Libertad expresion ingles

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  • Publicado : 13 de septiembre de 2012
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Early Americans enjoyed great freedom compared to citizens of other nations. Nevertheless, once in power, even the Constitution's framers were guilty of overstepping theFirst Amendment they had so recently adopted. In 1798, during the French-Indian War, Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Act, which made it a crime for anyone to publish "anyfalse, scandalous and malicious writing" against the government. It was used by the then-dominant Federalist Party to prosecute prominent Republican newspaper editors duringthe late 18th century.

Throughout the 19th century, sedition, criminal anarchy and criminal conspiracy laws were used to suppress the speech of abolitionists, religiousminorities, suffragists, labor organizers, and pacifists. In Virginia prior to the Civil War, for example, anyone who "by speaking or writing maintains that owners have noright of property in slaves" was subject to a one-year prison sentence.

The early 20th century was not much better. In 1912, feminist Margaret Sanger was arrested for givinga lecture on birth control. Trade union meetings were banned and courts routinely granted injunctions prohibiting strikes and other labor protests. Violators were sentencedto prison. Peaceful protesters opposing U. S. entry into World War I were jailed for expressing their opinions. In the early 1920s, many states outlawed the display of red orblack flags, symbols of communism and anarchism. In 1923, author Upton Sinclair was arrested for trying to read the text of the First Amendment at a union rally. Many peoplewere arrested merely for membership in groups regarded as "radical" by the government. It was in response to the excesses of this period that the ACLU was founded in 1920.
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