J. Edgar Hoover’s 50-Year Career of Blackmail, Entrapment, and Taking Down Communist Spies


Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term “freedom of expression” is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.

Freedom of Expression Definition

The Founders were not at all egalitarian in their sentiments, as might be clearer if we quote Jefferson at greater length:


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . .” Jefferson declares the equality of men under God, but then is quite clearly referring to freemen—they are the men who consent to grant power to the government because they are the men who elect representatives. Jefferson was not, in this instance at least, being hypocritical; he was thinking in terms that his fellow Founders, raised in the same English tradition, completely understood. He begins with every man being equal under God but does not end in the idea that all men are equal in their talents, rights, and duties.

Cite This Article
"Freedom of Expression: Definition" History on the Net
© 2000-2024, Salem Media.
April 10, 2024 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/freedom-of-expression-definition-2>
More Citation Information.