After completing the lessons in this unit, students will be able to summarize the contents of the First Amendment and give examples of speech that is protected by the Constitution and speech that is not protected by the Constitution.
What provisions in the U.S. Constitution are relevant to the debate over the Sedition Act? For this lesson, students will read brief excerpts from actual debates in the House of Representatives as the legislators attempted to work with the version of the bill "Punishment of Crime" (later known as the Sedition Act) already passed by the Senate.
This lesson helps students learn about the judicial system through simulating a real court case involving student free speech rights. In addition to learning about how the Supreme Court operates, students will explore how the Supreme Court protects their rights, interprets the Constitution, and works with the other two branches of government.
In 1798, Jefferson predicted the consequences of the passage of the Sedition (and Alien) Act. In this lesson, students will look at documents reflecting some of the consequences of the Sedition Act. How close was Jefferson's prediction?
What arguments were put forth in objection to the Sedition Act? Supporters of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed the Sedition Act was designed to repress political opposition to President John Adams and the Federalists.