“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”.
Words. Simple and direct. No society on Earth had ever heard their like before… they were truly as revolutionary as the revolution that spawned them. It was the beginning of the evolution of the freest, most open and dynamic nation/state in history. Cobbled together from a handful of often cantankerous and contrarily independent colonies. How, then, were these wildly disparate groups of peoples forged into the instrument for truth and freedom that is the United States of America?
We know that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Even a cursory glance through our founding documents reveals them to be the inspired works of thoughtful, highly educated (most of them were reading Homer in the original Greek by the time they were 12 or 13 and doing trigonometry and calculus as well) men who risked everything to birth this nation of free men, against odds that reason said were impossible.
Information was passed from person to person. The papers of the period were mostly one page ‘broadsheets’ which could often be found plastered to the wall of the local tavern. Political views and opinions were often printed in pamphlets which were circulated through the towns and villages. There were no ‘professional’ journalists… only individual Americans speaking their minds and hearts. read more »