The Right to Petition

The First Amendment of the Constitution established “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” From early 19th century petitioning to mass demonstrations, and formal and informal lobbying, Americans have exercised a very basic democratic right to shape their country beyond the ballot box. 
 
This section will present a wide range of material from early abolitionists, bonus marchers, antiwar movements, civil rights organizations, current protests, and lobbyists from the earliest days of the republic to today.