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What you feel is the most Significant Constitutional Amendment - Essay Example

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The amendment is believed to be the most vital component of the Bill of Rights. This is because it confers a number of basic human rights that are very fundamental to the wellbeing and…
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What you feel is the most Significant Constitutional Amendment
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I believe that the most significant amendment to the constitution is the first amendment. The amendment is believed to be the most vital component of the Bill of Rights. This is because it confers a number of basic human rights that are very fundamental to the wellbeing and livelihood of a human being.
The amendment protects the freedom of expressing views and thoughts, the freedom of exercising any religion free from coercion from the government, freedom of press, freedom of petition and speech. Without this amendment, it would not have been possible to exercise democracy in governance and establish an environment where there is free flow of information and ideas. It is worth noting that all ideas, whether good or bad, are protected under the first amendment (Bird 56).
As an American citizen, I have been able to enjoy the right to free speech and freely expressing my ideas and opinions. However, there are other countries where citizens do not enjoy the same right. I travelled to Ethiopia a couple of years ago, for a vacation and to view the beautiful scenery. Before I embarked on the journey, I was thoroughly briefed regarding the stringent rules of law in Ethiopia. At the embassy, citizens were constantly reminded to be careful of what they expressed to avoid being detained by the police. In addition, once we were outside the embassy and into the city of Addis Ababa and its environs, we were to avoid expressing any views against the regime; lest we be imprisoned.
Unlike in America, citizens have to be mindful of what they express to avoid being imprisoned. As a tourist, I found these unfamiliar and confusing due to my perception that all citizens in the world enjoyed similar rights like other Americans did. The experience was an eye-opener and since then, I have appreciated the right conferred on me by the Constitution; to express my thoughts freely. In Ethiopia, for instance, there are hundreds of journalists and other perceived dissidents who have been detained illegally by their government, as political prisoners. Fortunately, I was not imprisoned in Ethiopia, and I continued expressing my thoughts, regarding Congress on Twitter, once I was at the United States Embassy.
Through research, I have been able to identify the importance of the first amendment through critical analysis of world politics and political journals. I identified the primary reason as to why the Arab Spring uprising broke was due to the atrocities committed by the regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. The atrocities are attributable to lack of constitutional bill of rights that confers on its citizens the rights of free speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom of press and many others. The citizens were rising against their respective governments due to a lack of democratic mechanism that protected the citizens’ rights and against any oppressive regimes.
I believe that without the first amendment, America would not have become the prosperous nation it is. America was built by immigrants who escaped their respective nations to enjoy such rights contained in the bill of rights. For many of them, they wished to start families in a country where they would be free to express themselves freely and fairly. Additionally, without the bill of rights, science and modern medicine would not have progressed, since scientists are dependent on the ability to freely exchange ideas and opinions to solve issues (Epps 34). The first amendment is clearly the most important constitutional amendment.
Works Cited
Bird, Lee E. The First Amendment on Campus: A Handbook for College and University Administrators. Washington, D.C.: NASPA, 2006. Print.
Epps, Garrett. Wrong and Dangerous Ten Right-wing Myths about Our Constitution. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield: 2012. Print. Read More
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