Censorship Through History The Early Years • Rigid guidelines for acceptable art appeared in Egypt as early as 3400 B.C. » 8 A.D. Poet Ovid was exiled from » ancient Rome because his Ars » Amatoria had offended the moral » sensibilities of Emperor Augustus. • 339 BC, The ancient Greek city/state of Sparta banned poetry and other reading material that didn’t deal with “useful” topics, like agriculture and commerce. • Greek Philosopher Plato (428-347 B.C) thought that because art has the power to intensify emotions, a “drastic censor” should control them. • Greek Philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C) said that young people should be protected not only from words but also from pictures. • 213 B.C., Chinese emperor Shi Huang Di burned The Analects of the philosopher Confucius and nearly all other books in China in an attempt to destroy old loyalties and ideas. • 5th Century to the 15th Century, Medieval Europe, almost all artistic expression was commissioned by the government or the Catholic Church. • 1538, The English monarchy established licensing laws to allow the government to control what was printed. » 1559, Queen Elizabeth I ordered that no book could be published without approval. » 1643, The English government issued a censorship edict that required all books to be submitted to an official censor before publication. » 1789, Congress voted to accept » the Constitution. Many people were worried that the powerful, new, centralized government might trample the rights of individuals. • 1791, Congress approved the first 10 amendments, which came to Be know as the Bill of Rights. The amendments were meant to protect basic liberties and specific rights and freedoms. • 1933, 5,000 singing students ended a torchlight parade with a huge book burning in Nazi Germany. • 1935, Smoot Hawley Tariff passed, allowing any book printed by an established publisher was freely admitted in the United States. • 1948, United Nations adopted a Universal Declaration of human rights to protect people’s freedom of expression and other basic rights. • 1818, People were encouraged to censor their own readings through books such as Bowdler’s family shakespeare. Thomas Bowdler published works by Shakespeare and other authors, but he edited out reference to sex and other passages that he believed “unfit to Be read aloud By a gentleman to company of ladies.” -1873, Anthony Comstock founded the New York Society for the suppression of vice and Congress passed a law that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to prohibit indecent material from being sent through the mail. 1950-60’s, senator Joseph mccarthy’s “witch hunts” for supposed Communists. » » 1968, Movie ratings became the norm. 1969, Tinker v. Des Moines School District • 1988, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. • 2010, Ciudad Juarez is the one of the deadliest cities in Mexico, and is one of the most dangerous for journalists. 10 were killed in 2010. Drug cartels pressure journalist and editors in Mexico to avoid reporting on them and to print unflattering stories about rival drug cartels. The result is increasing self- censorship.
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