Free speech rights have proven themselves essential in securing a fair hearing for demands for justice and equal Constitutional protection for marginalized groups and isolated, targeted individuals throughout U.S. history.
This unit reviews the unique inheritance of basic rights and freedoms bestowed on all American citizens by our founding documents, which draw from Enlightenment conceptions of liberty and individual human dignity.
Ben Franklin was an influential champion of free speech and freedom of the press during the founding and formation of the United States of America. This lesson takes a look at two of Franklin’s works – Silence Dogood No. 8 and “On the Freedom of the Press” in order to gain insight into his thinking about two of our fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.