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REDEFINING FREE SPEECH: THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND THE 1798 SEDITION ACT

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Material Information

Title:
REDEFINING FREE SPEECH: THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND THE 1798 SEDITION ACT
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Lay, Christopher
Publisher:
New College of Florida
Place of Publication:
Sarasota, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Bachelor's ( B.A.)
Degree Grantor:
New College of Florida
Degree Divisions:
Social Sciences
Area of Concentration:
General Studies
Faculty Sponsor:
Goff, Brendan

Subjects

Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, territorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of the press. However, there is evidence that many of the founders did not actually understand “freedom of the press” as the right to criticize the government in print, and did not believe that the Constitution could protect a disobedient press. The right to embarrass the government was not fully understood as a formal civil right in the eighteenth century. It only became one through constitutional innovation. This thesis will analyze two interpretations of “freedom of the press” which emerged during the Sedition Act controversy of 1798-1800, and their origins in the doctrines of strict and broad construction. The Sedition Act authorized the United States government to take legal action against printers who criticized its policies. The Federalist Party supported the new law, and argued that “freedom of the press” did not extend to the right to criticize Congress. The Democratic-Republicans opposed Congress’s right to pass a Sedition Act, but asserted the right of individual state governments to control the press. Therefore, neither party wanted the First Amendment to protect a newspaper from legal reprisals if it discredited the legitimate government. Their contest was more accurately over whether Congress was the “legitimate government.”
Statement of Responsibility:
by Christopher Lay
Thesis:
Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2014
General Note:
RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
General Note:
Faculty Sponsor: Goff, Brendan

Record Information

Source Institution:
New College of Florida
Holding Location:
New College of Florida
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
S.T. 2014 L39
System ID:
AA00024762:00001

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