A History of Free Speech during Wartime in America

Freedom of speech often suffers during times of war. Introduction Patriotism at times devolves into jingoism and civil liberties take a backseat to security and order. The pattern has been consistent in American history from the Revolutionary War to the modern-day War on Terror after the infamous terrorist strikes on U.S. soil on Sept. 11,[…]

The First 45 Words: How the First Amendment Came to Be

“Congress shall make no law . . . ” The words are plain, blunt and unequivocal — without literary frill or poetic flourish — a directive intended to put the natural rights of citizens above and beyond the punitive power of the new federal government: “Congress shall make no law . . . ” Read[…]

How New York’s Union Square Helped Shape Free Speech in the U.S.

New York’s Union Square is an important site in American labor history. One scholar’s research illustrates the shifting meanings and inherent tensions of public space as an epicenter of civic life. Introduction Public space is an essential component of democratic cities. Modelled on the agora of ancient Greece, it is a marketplace for the exchange of goods[…]