Online Library of Liberty

A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.

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Freedom of Speech

An important struggle for freedom of speech took place in England in the 17th century. It took the form of demanding from the King the right to discuss opinions freely in both speech and print, to assemble in order to make these opinions known to others, to engage in public debate, and to petition the king and parliament for redress of these grievences The debate began in England and was transferred to the American colonies, becoming a key issue in the 18th century struggle against the crown. In all the colonial charters, bills of rights, and later state constitutions, the demand for freedom of speech was one of the most imporant items listed.

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