History 100 Lecture 10 Zenger Trial.docx

History 100 Lecture 10 Zenger Trial.docx - Lecture 10 The...

Info icon This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Lecture 10 The Trial of John Peter Zenger The trial of a German printer named John Peter Zenger in August 1735 helped establish one of our most cherished constitutional rights: freedom of the press. On August 5, 1735, twelve New York jurors acquitted Zenger of seditious libel. He had been arrested and charged with seditious libel for printing statements in the New York Weekly Journal that were critical of colonial Governor William Cosby’s arbitrary rule. Zenger’s defense lawyer argued that Zenger was not guilty of libel because the statements against Cosby were true. However, under English law, the mere fact that a printer published statements that were critical of the government constituted seditious libel, regardless of their veracity. Therefore, the trial judge, who had been handpicked by Governor Cosby in the first place, instructed the jury to return a verdict of “guilty” because Zenger had admitted to printing the statements. However, Zenger’s brilliant defenselawyer,
Image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern