Constitution Day Contest Winner: A Country with Freedom for All.
The reason many people migrate to the United States in search of a better life is because it is a nation of freedom.
In the beginning freedom was only granted to those of a certain skin color and status, but we have evolved from those egotistical ideas and extended freedom to any person within the boundaries of this great nation.
This is why I believe the first amendment, which gives anyone in the United States the right to exercise any religion, freedom of speech and use of press, and the right to assemble and petition, is the most important amendment and the one that gave way to other important amendments like the thirteenth, fifteenth and nineteenth, also known as the Civil Rights amendments.
Freedom is something no one should take for granted. In countries like Cuba and North Korea people are incarcerated for speaking up against the government, in places like the Middle East people are prosecuted for practicing a different religion, and in these places no one is allowed to petition the government in the presence of grievance.
The U.S. is a better country for allowing its citizen’s to speak their mind and have an opinion on the way laws will be imposed.
Having these freedoms allowed for people to lobby for other rights that are necessary, like the thirteenth amendment which abolished slavery and began the notion that all human beings are truly equal.
If the first amendment had not been set in place we would be stuck in olden times with olden ideas.
One of the most important freedoms that came about by having the first amendment is the right to vote.
The fifteenth amendment gave voting rights to any person regardless of color or race and the nineteenth amendment did the same for women.
Having the freedom of speech and press allowed people to pressure the government into allowing all citizens the right to decide who the next leader would be.
Many people now don’t vote because they believe it is useless and that the Electoral College decides the outcome, but if that is the case there would not be so many people trying to creates laws to make it much more difficult to register to vote.
And this is why the first amendment is so important, because it allows us to have the freedom to be heard.
Brenda Madrigal is an accounting junior and may be reached at [email protected]