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Word Count: 943
No other democratic society in the world permits personal freedoms to the degree of the United States of America Within the last sixty years American courts especially the Supreme Court have developed a set of legal doctrines that thoroughly protect all forms of the freedom of expression When it comes to evaluating the degree to which we take advantage of the opportunity to express our opinions some members of society may be guilty of violating the bounds of the First Amendment by publicly offending others through obscenity or racism Americans have developed a distinct disposition toward the freedom of expression throughout historyEver since colonial times the protection of personal freedoms in the United States has been significantly important Even in the early stages of American history there was an urge to put legally protected freedoms into written government documents The result was the drafting of the first ten amendments to the Constitution the Bill of Rights by James Madison The applications of the personal freedoms described in the Bill of Rights particularly the freedom of speech have been challenged repeatedly in American courts of law and elsewhere These incidents and challenges of authority reflect the defensive American attitude toward the ever-important freedom of expression and the growing significance of personal rights throughout American historyIn Colonial America members of diverse nationalities had opposing views on government religion and other subjects of interest Serious confrontations were prevented because of the vast lands that separated groups of varying opinions A person could easily settle in with other like believers and be untouched by the prejudices and oppression of others For this reason Unitarians avoided Anglican or Puritan communities Quakers and Anabaptists were confined to Pennsylvania and Rhode Island while Catholics were mainly concentrated in Maryland As the United States grew larger and larger these diverse groups were forced to live together This may have caused individual liberties to be violated because of the distrust and hostile feelings between
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