Chapter18-CivilLiberties - A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 18...

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A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 18 “Civil Liberties” I. Politics, Culture, and Civil Liberties 1. Modern claims over violations of civil rights would have shocked the  Founding Fathers , who  thought that they had dictated what the federal gov’t could and couldn’t do, not what the  state  gov’t could and could not do. i. Even the added   Bill of Rights   was never intended to control state governments’  actions. 2. The political system of the United States has always facilitated the actions of small groups to  help them stop acts that would have imposed great burdens on them. 3. There are three reasons to why the liberties claimed by some people ever become a big issue: i. There may be rights in conflict (called “interest group politics”). ii. Passions may be inflamed by a skilled policy entrepreneur (called “entrepreneurial  politics”). iii. Due to the U.S. political culture, there are constant differences in opinions, and from  time to time, one opinion is favored over another. 4. The U.S.   Constitution   and the Bill of rights contain many competing rights that can conflict  each other: i. The right by a person to a fair, unbiased trial vs. the right to broadcast whatever rumors  about that person on trial. ii. The right to publish something w/o censorship due to the “freedom of the press”  guarantee from the Constitution vs. the right to “provide for the common defense” and  keep information and intelligence secret, lest the wrong people hear about it and hurt  the United States. iii. Freedom of speech vs. preservation of order (i.e. saying defamatory things). 5. Sometimes,  special interest groups  are on the opposite sides of a fight for certain rights and  liberties. 6. A skilled policy entrepreneur can sometimes arouse people to take action against the rights and  liberties claimed y political or religious dissidents, but such action usually happens during  certain times, like a war. i. The   Sedition Act   of 1798   made it a crime to write, utter, or publish “any false,  scandalous, and malicious writing” with the intention of defaming a gov’t member…this  during the   French Revolution , and the   Espionage   and   Sedition Act s of 1917-18 
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were passed to ban people from defaming the military or the war effort for  World War I  and prevent suspected German spies from overthrowing the gov’t. ii.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course USHIST 102 taught by Professor Smythe during the Spring '08 term at TCU.

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Chapter18-CivilLiberties - A.P. Civics Notes: Chapter 18...

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