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Encyclopedia > United States Bill of Rights
United States of America

This article is part of the series:
United States Constitution The Great Seal of the United States, obverse side. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The United States Constitution The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


Original text of the Constitution
Preamble

Articles of the Constitution
IIIIIIIVVVIVII “We the People” redirects here. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article One of the United States Constitution Article One of the United States Constitution describes the powers of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article Two of the United States Constitution Article Two of the United States Constitution creates the executive branch of the government, comprising the President and other executive officers. ... Article Three of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government. ... Article Four of the United States Constitution relates to the states. ... Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the process whereby the Constitution may be altered. ... Article Six establishes the United States Constitution and the laws and treaties of the United States made in accordance with it as the supreme law of the land, and fulfills other purposes. ... Article Seven of the United States Constitution describes the process by which the entire document is to be ratified and take effect. ...

Amendments to the Constitution
Bill of Rights
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX

Subsequent Amendments
XI ∙ XII ∙ XIII ∙ XIV ∙ XV ∙ XVI
XVII ∙ XVIII ∙ XIX ∙ XX ∙ XXI ∙ XXII
XXIII ∙ XXIV ∙ XXV ∙ XXVI ∙ XXVII The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. This is a complete list of all ratified and unratified amendments to the United States Constitution which have received the approval of the Congress. ... “First Amendment” redirects here. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives Amendment II (the Second Amendment) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, declares a well regulated militia as being necessary to the security of a free State, and prohibits Congress or any other government agency from... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Amendment VI (the Sixth Amendment) of the United States Constitution codifies rights related to criminal prosecutions in federal courts. ... “Seventh Amendment” redirects here. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives Amendment IX (the Ninth Amendment) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, addresses rights of the people that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. ... For Ireland, see Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland. ... Amendment XI in the National Archives Amendment XI (the Eleventh Amendment) of the United States Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress on March 4, 1794, and was ratified on February 7, 1795. ... Amendment XII in the National Archives The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution alterd Article II pertaining to presidential elections. ... Amendment XIII in the National Archives The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished, and continues to prohibit slavery and, with limited exceptions (those convicted of a crime), prohibits involuntary servitude. ... Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. ... Amendment XV in the National Archives 1870 celebration of the 15th amendment as a guarantee of African American rights 1867 drawing depicting the first vote by African Americans Amendment XV (the Fifteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution provides that governments in the United States may not prevent a citizen... Amendment XVI in the National Archives Amendment XVI (the Sixteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution was ratified on February 3, 1913. ... Amendment XVII in the National Archives Amendment XVII (the Seventeenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution was passed by the Senate on June 12, 1911 and by the House on May 13, 1912. ... Amendment XVIII in the National Archives Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol. ... Amendment XIX in the National Archives Amendment XIX (the Nineteenth Amendment) allowed women the right to vote under official constitutional protection. ... Page 1 of Amendment XX in the National Archives Page 2 of the amendment Amendment XX (the Twentieth Amendment) of the United States Constitution, also called The Lame Duck Amendment, or the Norris Amendment, establishes some details of presidential succession and of the beginning and ending of the terms of... Amendment XXI (the Twenty-first Amendment) to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition. ... Amendment XXII in the National Archives The Twenty-second Amendment of the United States Constitution sets a term limit for the President of the United States, providing that No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office... Amendment XXIII in the National Archives Amendment XXIII was the twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution which permits the District of Columbia to choose Electors for President and Vice President. ... Amendment XXIV in the National Archives Amendment XXIV (the Twenty-fourth Amendment) of the United States Constitution prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. ... Page 1 of Amendment XXV in the National Archives Page 2 of the amendment Amendment XXV (the Twenty-fifth Amendment) of the United States Constitution clarifies an ambiguous provision of the Constitution regarding succession to the Presidency, and establishes procedures both for filling a vacancy in the office of the... Amendment XXVI (the Twenty-sixth Amendment) of the United States Constitution was ratified on July 1, 1971. ... Page 1 of the certification of Amendment XXVII in the National Archives Page 2 of the amendments certification Page 3 of the amendments certification Amendment XXVII (the Twenty-seventh Amendment) is the most recent amendment to be incorporated into the United States Constitution, having been ratified in 1992...


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United States Bill of Rights
Image of the United States Bill of Rights from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Image of the United States Bill of Rights from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Created 1791
Location National Archives
Authors James Madison
Purpose A Bill of Rights for the United States

The United States Bill of Rights consists of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. These amendments limit the powers of the federal government, protecting the rights of all citizens, residents and visitors on United States territory. Among the enumerated rights these amendments guarantee are: the freedoms of speech, press, and religion; the people's right to keep and bear arms; the freedom of assembly; the freedom to petition; and the rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizure; cruel and unusual punishment; and compelled self-incrimination. The Bill of Rights also restricts Congress' power by prohibiting it from making any law respecting establishment of religion and by prohibiting the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. In criminal cases, it requires indictment by grand jury for any capital or "infamous crime," guarantees a speedy public trial with an impartial and local jury, and prohibits double jeopardy. In addition, the Bill of Rights states that "the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,"[1] and reserves all powers not granted to the Federal government to the citizenry or States. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (4318x4592, 1500 KB) Description: THE BILL OF RIGHTS Credit: NARA [1] Usage: File links The following pages link to this file: United States Constitution United States Bill of Rights Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera... The National Archives building in Washington, DC The United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records. ... The National Archives building in Washington, DC The United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records. ... James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836), an American politician and fourth President of the United States of America (1809–1817), was one of the most influential Founders of the United States. ... A bill of rights is a list or summary of rights that are considered important and essential by a group of people. ... An amendment is a change to the constitution of a nation or a state. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The United States Constitution The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... This article describes the government of the United States. ... This article is about the general concept. ... Freedom of the press (or press freedom) is the guarantee by a government of free public press for its citizens and their associations, extended to members of news gathering organizations, and their published reporting. ... The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, prevents the federal government from infringing on the right to keep and bear firearms. ... Group of women holding placards with political activist slogans: know your courts - study your politicians, Liberty in law, Law makers must not be law breakers, and character in candidates photo 1920 Freedom of assembly is the freedom to associate with, or organize any groups, gatherings, clubs, or organizations that one... The right to petition is the freedom of individuals (and sometimes groups and corporations) to petition their government for a correction or repair of some form of injustice without fear of punishment for the same. ... Search and seizure is a legal procedure used in many common law whereby police or other authorities and their agents, who suspect that a crime has been committed, do a search of a persons property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime. ... “Cruel And Unusual” redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... Nations with state religions:  Buddhism  Islam  Shia Islam  Sunni Islam  Orthodox Christianity  Protestantism  Roman Catholic Church A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. ... Liberty is generally considered a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... In United States law, adopted from English Law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must normally respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life... In the common law legal system, an indictment (IPA: ) is a formal charge of having committed a most serious criminal offense. ... In the American common law legal system, a grand jury is a type of jury which determines if there is enough evidence for a trial. ... Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences. ... In legal parlance, a trial is an event in which parties to a dispute present information (in the form of evidence) in a formal setting, usually a court, before a judge, jury, or other designated finder of fact, in order to achieve a resolution to their dispute. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Jury. ... For other uses, see Double jeopardy (disambiguation). ... The United States flag The Seal of the United States The Immigration and Naturalization Act sets forth the legal requirements for acquiring and losing citizenship of the United States. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of...


These amendments came into effect on December 15, 1791, when ratified by three-fourths of the States. Most were applied to the states by a series of decisions applying the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was adopted after the American Civil War. is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Incorporation of the Bill of Rights is the legal doctrine by which portions of the U.S. Bill of Rights are applied to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. ... Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total...


Initially drafted by James Madison in 1789, the Bill of Rights was written at a time when ideological conflict between Federalists and anti-Federalists, dating from the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, threatened the Constitution's ratification. The Bill was influenced by George Mason's 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, works of the Age of Enlightenment pertaining to natural rights, and earlier English political documents such as the Magna Carta (1215). The Bill was largely a response to the Constitution's influential opponents, including prominent Founding Fathers, who argued that it failed to protect the basic principles of human liberty. James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836), an American politician and fourth President of the United States of America (1809–1817), was one of the most influential Founders of the United States. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Anti-Federalism was the name given to two distinct counter-movements in the late 18th Century American politics: The first Anti-Federalist movement formed in reaction to the Federalist movement of the 1780s. ... Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Virginia Declaration of Rights is a declaration by the Virginia Convention of Delegates of rights of individuals and a call for independence from Britain. ... The Bill of Rights 1689 is an English Act of Parliament with the long title An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown and known colloquially in the UK as the Bill of Rights. ... The Enlightenment (French: ; German: ) was an eighteenth-century movement in European and American philosophy, or the longer period including the Age of Reason. ... For other uses, see Universalism (disambiguation). ... Motto Dieu et mon droit(French) God and my right Territory of the Kingdom of England Capital Winchester; London from 11th century Language(s) Old English (de facto, until 1066) Anglo-Norman language (de jure, 1066 - 15th century) English (de facto, gradually replaced French from late 13th century) Government Monarchy... Magna Carta Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally Great Paper), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. ... Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy. ... Liberty is generally considered a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. ...


The Bill of Rights plays a central role in American law and government, and remains a fundamental symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation. One of the original fourteen copies of the Bill of Rights is on public display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The United States Constitution, the supreme law of the United States The United States Reports, the official reporter of the Supreme Court of the United States The law of the United States was originally largely derived from the common law of the system of English law, which was in force... American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, and the American flag. ... The National Archives building in Washington, DC The United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ...


The original document proposed by Congress to the states actually contained 12 "Articles" of proposed amendment. However, only the third through twelfth articles, corresponding to what became the First through Tenth Amendments to the Constitution, were ratified by the required number of states by 1791. The first Article, dealing with the number and apportionment of members of the House of Representatives, never became part of the Constitution. The second Article, limiting the ability of Congress to increase the salaries of its members, was ratified two centuries later as the 27th Amendment. The term "Bill of Rights" has traditionally meant only the 10 amendments that became part of the Constitution in 1791, and not the first two, which dealt with Congress itself rather than the rights of the people. That traditional usage has continued even since the ratification of the 27th Amendment. Article The First (also referred to as The Congressional Apportionment Amendment) was and is the very first proposed amendment to the United States Constitution though it has not yet been ratified. ... The United States House of Representatives (or simply the House) is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. ... Page 1 of the certification of Amendment XXVII in the National Archives Page 2 of the amendments certification Page 3 of the amendments certification Amendment XXVII (the Twenty-seventh Amendment) is the most recent amendment to be incorporated into the United States Constitution, having been ratified in 1992... Page 1 of the certification of Amendment XXVII in the National Archives Page 2 of the amendments certification Page 3 of the amendments certification Amendment XXVII (the Twenty-seventh Amendment) is the most recent amendment to be incorporated into the United States Constitution, having been ratified in 1992...

Contents

Background

See also: Articles of Confederation and History of the United States Constitution

The Philadelphia Convention set out to correct weaknesses inherent in the Articles of Confederation that had been apparent even before the American Revolutionary War had been successfully concluded. The newly constituted Federal government included a strong executive branch, a stronger legislative branch and an independent judiciary. The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, commonly known as the Articles of Confederation, was the first governing document, or constitution, of the United States of America. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy. ... The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, commonly known as the Articles of Confederation, was the first governing document, or constitution, of the United States of America. ... This article is about military actions only. ... The executive is the branch of a government charged with implementing, or executing, the law and running the day-to-day affairs of the government or state. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      In the law, the judiciary or judicial system is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. ...


Arguments against the Bill of Rights

See also: Federalist Papers.
A portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1792
A portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1792

The idea of adding a bill of rights to the Constitution was originally controversial. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No. 84, argued against a "Bill of Rights," asserting that ratification of the Constitution did not mean the American people were surrendering their rights, and therefore that protections were unnecessary: "Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing, and as they retain every thing, they have no need of particular reservations." As critics of the Constitution referred to earlier political documents that had protected specific rights, Hamilton argued that the Constitution was inherently different. Unlike previous political arrangements between sovereigns and subjects, in the United States there would be no agent empowered to abridge the people's rights: An advertisement for The Federalist The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. ... Download high resolution version (868x1224, 303 KB) A portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1792. ... Download high resolution version (868x1224, 303 KB) A portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1792. ... Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757–July 12, 1804) was an Army officer, lawyer, Founding Father, American politician, leading statesman, financier and political theorist. ... This article is about the American painter. ... Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757–July 12, 1804) was an Army officer, lawyer, Founding Father, American politician, leading statesman, financier and political theorist. ... Title page of an early Federalist compilation. ... Alexander Hamilton, author of Federalist No. ...

"Bills of rights are in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was "Magna Charta", obtained by the Barons, sword in hand, from King John."[2] Magna Carta Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally Great Paper), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. ... This article is about the King of England. ...

Finally, Hamilton expressed the fear that protecting specific rights might imply that any unmentioned rights would not be protected:

"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?"

Essentially, Hamilton and other Federalists believed in the British system of common law which did not define or quantify natural rights. They believed that adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution would limit their rights to those listed in the Constitution. This is the primary reason the Ninth Amendment was included. This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Universalism (disambiguation). ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives Amendment IX (the Ninth Amendment) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, addresses rights of the people that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. ...


The Anti-Federalists

On June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry spoke before Virginia's ratification convention in opposition to the Constitution: "Is it necessary for your liberty that you should abandon those great rights by the adoption of this system? Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings—give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else!"
Main article: Anti-Federalism
See also: Anti-Federalist Papers.

During the debate over the ratification of the Constitution, famous revolutionary figures such as Patrick Henry came out publicly against the Constitution.[3] They argued that the strong national government proposed by the Federalists was a threat to individual rights and that the President would become a king, and objected to the federal court system in the proposed Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, ambassador to France, described his concern over the lack of a Bill of Rights, among other criticisms. In answer to the argument that a list of rights might be interpreted as being exhaustive, Jefferson wrote to Madison, "Half a loaf is better than no bread. If we cannot secure all our rights, let us secure what we can."[4] Download high resolution version (610x737, 350 KB) Patrick Henry by George Bagby Matthews Oil on canvas, 1891 ca. ... Download high resolution version (610x737, 350 KB) Patrick Henry by George Bagby Matthews Oil on canvas, 1891 ca. ... Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799) was a prominent figure in the American Revolution, known and remembered primarily for his stirring oratory. ... Anti-Federalism was the name given to two distinct counter-movements in the late 18th Century American politics: The first Anti-Federalist movement formed in reaction to the Federalist movement of the 1780s. ... The Anti-Federalist Papers are a collection of articles, written in opposition to the ratification of the 1787 Constitution of the United States. ... Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799) was a prominent figure in the American Revolution, known and remembered primarily for his stirring oratory. ... Individual rights represent the moral rights of individuals in society prior to government. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ...


The best and most influential of the articles and speeches criticizing the Constitution were gathered by historians into a collection known as the Anti-Federalist papers, in allusion to the Federalist Papers which had supported the creation of a stronger federal government. One of these, an essay "On the lack of a Bill of Rights," later called "Antifederalist No. 84," was written under the pseudonym Brutus, probably by Robert Yates. In response to the Federalist view that it was unnecessary to protect the people against powers that the government would not be granted, "Brutus" wrote: The Anti-Federalist Papers are a collection of articles, written in opposition to the ratification of the 1787 Constitution of the United States. ... An advertisement for The Federalist The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. ... Brutus is a Roman cognomen used by several politicians of the Junii family, especially in the Roman Republic. ... Robert Yates (1738-1801) was a United States politician well known for his Anti-Federalist stances. ...

"We find they have, in the ninth section of the first article declared, that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in cases of rebellion — that no bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, shall be passed — that no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States, etc. If every thing which is not given is reserved, what propriety is there in these exceptions? Does this Constitution any where grant the power of suspending the habeas corpus, to make ex post facto laws, pass bills of attainder, or grant titles of nobility? It certainly does not in express terms. The only answer that can be given is, that these are implied in the general powers granted. With equal truth it may be said, that all the powers which the bills of rights guard against the abuse of, are contained or implied in the general ones granted by this Constitution."[5] Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article One of the United States Constitution Article One of the United States Constitution describes the powers of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. ... In common law countries, habeas corpus () (Latin: [We command that] you have the body) is the name of a legal action, or writ, through which a person can seek relief from unlawful detention of themselves or another person. ... A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a trial. ... An ex post facto law (Latin for from a thing done afterward), also known as a retrospective law, is a law that is retroactive, i. ... Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ...

Yates continued with an implication directed against the Framers: "Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought. So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are wilfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage."[6] Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy. ...


Ratification and the Massachusetts Compromise

George Washington's 1788 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette observed, "the Convention of Massachusetts adopted the Constitution in toto; but recommended a number of specific alterations and quieting explanations." Source: Library of Congress
George Washington's 1788 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette observed, "the Convention of Massachusetts adopted the Constitution in toto; but recommended a number of specific alterations and quieting explanations." Source: Library of Congress

Individualism was the strongest element of opposition; the necessity, or at least the desirability, of a bill of rights was almost universally felt, and the Anti-Federalists were able to play on these feelings in the ratification convention in Massachusetts. By this stage, five of the states had ratified the Constitution with relative ease; however, the Massachusetts convention was bitter and contentious: Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (600x991, 126 KB) Letter from George Washington to Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, April 28, 1788, discussing the prospects for ratification of the United States Constitution and the need for a Bill of Rights. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (600x991, 126 KB) Letter from George Washington to Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, April 28, 1788, discussing the prospects for ratification of the United States Constitution and the need for a Bill of Rights. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... Lieutenant General & National Guard Commander-in-Chief Lafayette in 1792 at ~35yrs. ... Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ... Individualism is a term used to describe a moral, political, or social outlook that stresses human independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...

"In Massachusetts, the Constitution ran into serious, organized opposition. Only after two leading Antifederalists, Adams and Hancock, negotiated a far-reaching compromise did the convention vote for ratification on February 6, 1788 (187–168). Antifederalists had demanded that the Constitution be amended before they would consider it or that amendments be a condition of ratification; Federalists had retorted that it had to be accepted or rejected as it was. Under the Massachusetts compromise, the delegates recommended amendments to be considered by the new Congress, should the Constitution go into effect. The Massachusetts compromise determined the fate of the Constitution, as it permitted delegates with doubts to vote for it in the hope that it would be amended."[7] For other uses, see Samuel Adams (disambiguation). ... For other persons named John Hancock, see John Hancock (disambiguation). ...

Four of the next five states to ratify, including New Hampshire, Virginia, and New York, included similar language in their ratification instruments. They all sent recommendations for amendments with their ratification documents to the new Congress. Since many of these recommendations pertained to safeguarding personal rights, this pressured Congress to add a Bill of Rights after Constitutional ratification. Additionally, North Carolina refused to ratify the Constitution until progress was made on the issue of the Bill of Rights. Thus, while the Anti-Federalists were unsuccessful in their quest to prevent the adoption of the Constitution, their efforts were not totally in vain. Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  Ranked 46th  - Total 9,350 sq mi (24,217 km²)  - Width 68 miles (110 km)  - Length 190 miles (305 km)  - % water 4. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the state. ... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest City = Charlotte Largest city {{{LargestCity}}} Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)  - % water 9. ...

James Madison, "Father of the Constitution" and first author of the Bill of Rights
James Madison, "Father of the Constitution" and first author of the Bill of Rights

After the Constitution was ratified in 1789, the 1st United States Congress met in Federal Hall in New York City. Most of the delegates agreed that a "bill of rights" was needed and most of them agreed on the rights they believed should be enumerated. Image File history File links Gilbert Stuart American, 1755 - 1828 James Madison, c. ... Image File history File links Gilbert Stuart American, 1755 - 1828 James Madison, c. ... James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836), an American politician and fourth President of the United States of America (1809–1817), was one of the most influential Founders of the United States. ... Federal Hall (1790) // The First United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, comprised of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. ... Federal Hall, once located at 26 Wall Street in New York City, was the first capitol of the United States. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ...


Madison, at the head of the Virginia delegation of the 1st Congress, had opposed a Bill of Rights but hoped to preempt a second Constitutional Convention that might have undone the difficult compromises of 1787: a second convention would open the entire Constitution to reconsideration and could undermine the work he and so many others had done in establishing the structure of the United States Government. A constitutional convention is a gathering of delegates for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. ...


Madison based much of the Bill of Rights on George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776), which itself had been written with Madison's input. He carefully considered the state amendment recommendations as well. He looked for recommendations shared by many states to avoid controversy and reduce opposition to the ratification of the future amendments. Additionally, Madison's work on the Bill of Rights reflected centuries of English law and philosophy, further modified by the principles of the American Revolution. The English legal tradition included such revolutionary documents as the Magna Carta (1215), protecting the rights of noblemen against the King of England, and the English Bill of Rights (1689), establishing the rights of legislators in Parliament against the power of the sovereign. Concurrently, English philosopher John Locke had argued that all men have inalienable natural rights and that the purpose of government was to protect property rights, ideas that became part of the American view of government. Madison, in the United States Bill of Rights, continued in the radical tradition of the American Revolution by further extending and codifying these rights. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Virginia Declaration of Rights is a declaration by the Virginia Convention of Delegates of rights of individuals and a call for independence from Britain. ... John Trumbulls Declaration of Independence, showing the five-man committee in charge of drafting the Declaration in 1776 as it presents its work to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia The American Revolution refers to the period during the last half of the 18th century in which the Thirteen... This is a list of British monarchs, that is, the monarchs on the thrones of some of the various kingdoms that have existed on, or incorporated, the island of Great Britain, namely: England (united with Wales from 1536) up to 1707; Scotland up to 1707; The Kingdom of Great Britain... The Bill of Rights 1689 is an English Act of Parliament with the long title An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown and known colloquially in the UK as the Bill of Rights. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Commons House of Lords Speaker of the House of Commons The Right Honourable Michael Martin MP Lord Speaker Hélène Hayman, Baroness Hayman, PC Members 1377 (646 Commons, 731 Peers) Political groups (as of May 5, 2005 elections) Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats... For other persons named John Locke, see John Locke (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Universalism (disambiguation). ... This page deals with property as ownership rights. ...


Antecedents

See also: John Locke
Madison's "Notes for speech on Constitutional amendments, June 8, 1791, in which he underlined the concept of "natural rights retained"
Madison's "Notes for speech on Constitutional amendments, June 8, 1791, in which he underlined the concept of "natural rights retained"

To some degree, the Bill of Rights (and the American Revolution) incorporated the ideas of John Locke, who argued in his 1689 work Two Treatises of Government that civil society was created for the protection of property (Latin proprius, or that which is one's own, meaning "life, liberty, and estate"). Locke also advanced the notion that each individual is free and equal in the state of nature. Locke expounded on the idea of natural rights that are inherent to all individuals, a concept Madison mentioned in his speech presenting the Bill of Rights to the 1st Congress. For other persons named John Locke, see John Locke (disambiguation). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1494x1947, 127 KB) Summary James Madisons Notes for Speech on Constitutional Amendments. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1494x1947, 127 KB) Summary James Madisons Notes for Speech on Constitutional Amendments. ... For other uses, see Universalism (disambiguation). ... The Two Treatises of Government (or Two Treatises of Government: In the Former, The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, And His Followers, are Detected and Overthrown. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force-backed structures of a state (regardless of that states political system) and commercial institutions. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... State of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition of humanity before the states foundation and its monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. ...

See also: Virginia Declaration of Rights

The Virginia Declaration of Rights, well-known to Madison, had already been a strong influence on the American Revolution ("all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people ...";[8] also "a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish [the government]"). It had shaped the drafting of the United States Declaration of Independence a decade before the drafting of the Constitution, proclaiming that "all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights of which ... [they cannot divest;] namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."[9] On a practical level, its recommendations of a government with a separation of powers (Articles 5–6) and "frequent, certain, and regular"[10] elections of executives and legislators were incorporated into the United States Constitution — but the bulk of this work addresses the rights of the people and restrictions on the powers of government, and is recognizable in the modern Bill of Rights: The Virginia Declaration of Rights is a declaration by the Virginia Convention of Delegates of rights of individuals and a call for independence from Britain. ... The United States Declaration of Independence was an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies were independent of Great Britain. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Separation of powers, a term coined by French political Enlightenment thinker Baron de Montesquieu[1][2], is a model for the governance of democratic states. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countriesAtlas  Politics Portal      The United States has a federal government, with elected officials at federal (national), state and...


The government should not have the power of suspending or executing laws, "without consent of the representatives of the people,".[11] A legal defendant has the right to be "confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage," and may not be "compelled to give evidence against himself."[12] Individuals should be protected against "cruel and unusual punishments",[13] baseless search and seizure,,[14] and be guaranteed a trial by jury.[15] The government should not abridge freedom of the press,[16] or freedom of religion ("all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion").[17] The government should be enjoined against maintaining a standing army rather than a "well regulated militia."[18] “Cruel And Unusual” redirects here. ... Search and seizure is a legal procedure used in many common law whereby police or other authorities and their agents, who suspect that a crime has been committed, do a search of a persons property and confiscate any relevant evidence to the crime. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Jury. ... Freedom of the press (or press freedom) is the guarantee by a government of free public press for its citizens and their associations, extended to members of news gathering organizations, and their published reporting. ... The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guarantees freedom of religion, as long as religious activities do not infringe on public order in ways detrimental to society. ... A standing army is an army composed of full time professional soldiers. ... Lebanese Kataeb militia A Militia is an organization of citizens to provide defense, emergency or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. ...

See also: English Bill of Rights

The English Bill of Rights (1689), one of the fundamental documents of English law, differed substantially in form and intent from the American Bill of Rights, because it was intended to address the rights of citizens as represented by Parliament against the Crown. However, some of its basic tenets are adopted and extended to the general public by the U.S. Bill of Rights, including The Bill of Rights 1689 is an English Act of Parliament with the long title An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown and known colloquially in the UK as the Bill of Rights. ... The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative institution in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories (it alone has parliamentary sovereignty). ... This article refers to the Commonwealths concept of the monarchys legal authority. ...

  • the right of petition
  • an independent judiciary (the Sovereign was forbidden to establish his own courts or to act as a judge himself),
  • freedom from taxation by royal (executive) prerogative, without agreement by Parliament (legislators),
  • freedom from a peace-time standing army,
  • freedom [for Protestants] to bear arms for self-defence,
  • freedom to elect members of Parliament without interference from the Sovereign,
  • freedom of speech in Parliament,
  • freedom from cruel and unusual punishments and excessive bail, and
  • freedom from fines and forfeitures without trial.

Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. ... The word bail as a legal term means: Security, usually a sum of money, exchanged for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee of that persons appearance for trial. ... Search and seizure is a legal tool whereby police who suspect that a crime has been committed may do a search of the property. ...

Madison's preemptive proposal

On June 8, 1789, Madison submitted his proposal to Congress. In his speech to Congress on that day, Madison said, is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ...

"For while we feel all these inducements to go into a revisal of the constitution, we must feel for the constitution itself, and make that revisal a moderate one. I should be unwilling to see a door opened for a re-consideration of the whole structure of the government, for a re-consideration of the principles and the substance of the powers given; because I doubt, if such a door was opened, if we should be very likely to stop at that point which would be safe to the government itself: But I do wish to see a door opened to consider, so far as to incorporate those provisions for the security of rights, against which I believe no serious objection has been made by any class of our constituents."[19]

Prior to listing his proposals for a number of constitutional amendments, Madison acknowledged a major reason for some of the discontent with the Constitution as written:

"I believe that the great mass of the people who opposed [the Constitution], disliked it because it did not contain effectual provision against encroachments on particular rights, and those safeguards which they have been long accustomed to have interposed between them and the magistrate who exercised the sovereign power: nor ought we to consider them safe, while a great number of our fellow citizens think these securities necessary."[20]

Ratification process

On November 20, 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify these amendments. On December 15, 1791, 10 of these proposals became the First through Tenth Amendments — and United States law — when they were ratified by the Virginia legislature. is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... “NJ” redirects here. ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Articles III to XII were ratified by 11/14 states (> 75%). Article I, rejected by Delaware, was ratified only by 10/14 States (< 75%), and despite later ratification by Kentucky (11/15 states < 75%), the article has never since received the approval of enough states for it to become part of the Constitution. Article II was ratified by 6/14, later 7/15 states, but did not receive the 3/4 majority of States needed for ratification until 1992 when it became the 27th Amendment. The Congressional Apportionment Amendment was, and remains, a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. ... This article is about the U.S. State of Delaware. ... Official language(s) English[1] Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  Ranked 37th  - Total 40,444 sq mi (104,749 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ...


Ratification dates

“NJ” redirects here. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Official language(s) None (English, de facto) Capital Annapolis Largest city Baltimore Area  Ranked 42nd  - Total 12,407 sq mi (32,133 km²)  - Width 101 miles (145 km)  - Length 249 miles (400 km)  - % water 21  - Latitude 37° 53′ N to 39° 43′ N  - Longitude 75° 03′ W to 79° 29... is the 353rd day of the year (354th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest City = Charlotte Largest city {{{LargestCity}}} Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)  - % water 9. ... December 22 is the 356th day of the year (357th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude... is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  Ranked 46th  - Total 9,350 sq mi (24,217 km²)  - Width 68 miles (110 km)  - Length 190 miles (305 km)  - % water 4. ... is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the U.S. State of Delaware. ... is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the state. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... March 10 is the 69th day of the year (70th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... June 7 is the 158th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (159th in leap years), with 207 days remaining. ... Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Official language(s) None Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Area  Ranked 45th  - Total 9,620 sq mi (24,923 km²)  - Width 80 miles (130 km)  - Length 160 miles (260 km)  - % water 3. ... is the 307th day of the year (308th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ...

Later consideration

Lawmakers in Kentucky, which became the 15th state to join the Union in June 1792, ratified the entire set of 12 proposals during that commonwealth's initial month of statehood, perhaps unaware — given the nature of long-distance communications in the 1700s — that Virginia's approval six months earlier had already made 10 of the package of 12 part of the Constitution. The order which the original 13 states ratified the constitution, then the order that the others were admitted to the union This is a list of U.S. states by date of statehood, that is, the date when each U.S. state joined the Union. ... For other uses, see June (disambiguation). ... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers, and should be edited to rectify this. ...


Although ratification made the Bill of Rights effective in 1791, three of the original 13 states — Connecticut, Georgia, and Massachusetts — did not "ratify" the first 10 amendments until 1939, when they were urged to do so in a celebration of the 150th anniversary of their passage by Congress.[21] Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport Largest metro area Hartford Area  Ranked 48th  - Total 5,543[2] sq mi (14,356 km²)  - Width 70 miles (113 km)  - Length 110 miles (177 km)  - % water 12. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...


Incorporation extends to States

Originally, the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government and not to the several state governments. Parts of the amendments initially proposed by Madison that would have limited state governments ("No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases.") were not approved by Congress, and therefore the Bill of Rights did not appear to apply to the powers of state governments.[22] Incorporation of the Bill of Rights is the legal doctrine by which portions of the U.S. Bill of Rights are applied to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. ...


Thus, states had established state churches up until the 1820s, and Southern states, beginning in the 1830s, could ban abolitionist literature. In the 1833 case Barron v. Baltimore, the Supreme Court specifically ruled that the Bill of Rights provided "security against the apprehended encroachments of the general government—not against those of local governments." However, in the 1925 judgment on Gitlow v. New York, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment, which had been adopted in 1868, made certain applications of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states. The Supreme Court then cited the Gitlow case as precedent for a series of decisions that made most, but not all, of the provisions of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states under the doctrine of selective incorporation. Nations with state religions:  Buddhism  Islam  Shia Islam  Sunni Islam  Orthodox Christianity  Protestantism  Roman Catholic Church A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state. ... Historic Southern United States. ... This English poster depicting the horrific conditions on slave ships was influential in mobilizing public opinion against slavery. ... Barron v. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries  Atlas  Politics Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the acronym... Holding Though the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from infringing free speech, the defendant was properly convicted under New Yorks criminal anarchy law for advocating the violent overthrow of the government, through the dissemination of Communist pamphlets. ... Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. ...


Display and honoring of the Bill of Rights

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be "Bill of Rights Day", commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. FDR redirects here. ...


The Bill of Rights is on display at the National Archives and Records Administration,[23] in the "Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom." The National Archives building in Washington, DC The United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records. ...


The Rotunda itself was constructed in the 1950s and dedicated in 1952 by President Harry S Truman, who said, "Only as these documents are reflected in the thoughts and acts of Americans, can they remain symbols of power that can move the world. That power is our faith in human liberty. . ."[24] For the victim of Mt. ...


After 50 years, signs of deterioration in the casing were noted, while the documents themselves appeared to be well-preserved: "But if the ink of 1787 was holding its own, the encasements of 1951 were not...minute crystals and microdroplets of liquid were found on surfaces of the two glass sheets over each document...The CMS scans confirmed evidence of progressive glass deterioration, which was a major impetus in deciding to re-encase the Charters of Freedom."[25]


Accordingly, the casing was updated and the Rotunda rededicated on September 17, 2003. In his dedicatory remarks, 216 years after the close of the Constitutional Convention, President George W. Bush stated, "The true [American] revolution was not to defy one earthly power, but to declare principles that stand above every earthly power—the equality of each person before God, and the responsibility of government to secure the rights of all."[26] is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ...


In 1991, the Bill of Rights toured the country in honor of its bicentennial, visiting the capitals of all 50 states.


Text of the Bill of Rights

Preamble

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights:

Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.[27]

Amendments

  • First Amendment – Freedom of religion, speech, press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
  • Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  • Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

“First Amendment” redirects here. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives Amendment II (the Second Amendment) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, declares a well regulated militia as being necessary to the security of a free State, and prohibits Congress or any other government agency from... Lebanese Kataeb militia A Militia is an organization of citizens to provide defense, emergency or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In United States law, adopted from English Law, due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that the government must normally respect all of a persons legal rights instead of just some or most of those legal rights when the government deprives a person of life... For other uses, see Double jeopardy (disambiguation). ... Amendment VI (the Sixth Amendment) of the United States Constitution codifies rights related to criminal prosecutions in federal courts. ... Headline text The rights of the accused is a class of rights in that apply to a person in the time period between when they are formally accused of a crime and when they are either convicted or acquitted. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Public trial or open trial is a trial open to public, as opposed to the secret trial. ... “Seventh Amendment” redirects here. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives. ... The Bill of Rights in the National Archives Amendment IX (the Ninth Amendment) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, addresses rights of the people that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. ... For Ireland, see Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland. ...

See also

A bill of rights is a list or summary of rights that are considered important and essential by a group of people. ... The National Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which encourages local communities to take an active role in the ongoing national debate about threats to civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, such as the USA PATRIOT Act, NSA warrantless surveillance controversy, and the... Stamp commemorating the G.I. Bill or Servicemens Readjustment Act The G. I. Bill of Rights or Servicemens Readjustment Act of 1944 provided for college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans (commonly referred to as GIs or G. I.s) as well as one-year... The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a concept advocated by certain conservative and libertarian groups, primarily in the United States, as a way of limiting the growth of government. ... President Bush meets with House leaders to discuss Patients Bill of Rights legislation The Patients Bill of Rights Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities The following was adopted by the US Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry in 1998. ... The United States Declaration of Independence was an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies were independent of Great Britain. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The United States Constitution The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...

References

  1. ^ See: Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution
  2. ^ Hamilton, Alexander. The Federalist Papers, #84. "On opposition to a Bill of Rights.". Retrieved on 2006-02-28.
  3. ^ Henry, Patrick. "Against the Federal Constitution." June 5, 1788. (2006-03-10).
  4. ^ Jefferson's letter to Madison, March 15, 1789. (2006-03-09).
  5. ^ "On the lack of a Bill of Rights," also known as "Anti-Federalist #84". Retrieved on 2006-02-28. Also see: "The Federalist with Letters of Brutus", edited by Terence Ball, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, pgs 447–453. Excerpt from the writings of "Brutus" probably in the New York Journal, November 1, 1787.
  6. ^ op.cit
  7. ^ Bernstein, Richard B. "Ratification of the Constitution." The Reader's Companion to American History. Retrieved on 2006-02-28.
  8. ^ Virginia Declaration of Rights, Article 2
  9. ^ Article 1, later paraphrased in the opening sentences of the United States Declaration of Independence.
  10. ^ Article 5
  11. ^ Article 7
  12. ^ Article 8
  13. ^ Article 9
  14. ^ Article 10
  15. ^ Article 11
  16. ^ Article 12
  17. ^ Article 16
  18. ^ Article 13
  19. ^ Text of Madison's speech, at the James Madison Center. Retrieved on 2006-02-28.
  20. ^ op.cit
  21. ^ Order and Dates of Ratification of the Bill of Rights..
  22. ^ Bent, Devin. "James Madison proposes Bill of Rights.". Retrieved on 2006-02-28.
  23. ^ American Treasures of the Library of Congress (2006-03-13).
  24. ^ "Truman's Remarks in the Rotunda, December 1952" (2006-03-14).
  25. ^ Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler and Catherine Nicholson, "A New Era Begins for the Charters of Freedom." (2006-03-14). Prologue, Fall 2003.
  26. ^ "Remarks by President George W. Bush at the Rededication of the National Archives." (2006-03-14).
  27. ^ Preamble to the Bill of Rights (2006-03-10).

The Bill of Rights in the National Archives Amendment IX (the Ninth Amendment) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, addresses rights of the people that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 10 is the 69th day of the year (70th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 68th day of the year (69th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Virginia Declaration of Rights is a declaration by the Virginia Convention of Delegates of rights of individuals and a call for independence from Britain. ... The United States Declaration of Independence was an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies were independent of Great Britain. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 10 is the 69th day of the year (70th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Bibliography

  • Irving Brant; The Bill of Rights: Its Origin and Meaning (1965) online version
  • Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds. The Bill of Rights: Government Proscribed. University Press of Virginia for the United States Capitol Historical Society, 1997. 463 pp. ISBN 0-8139-1759-X essays by scholars
  • Kathleen Krull. A Kid's Guide to America's Bill of Rights (1999), 224 pp
  • Robert Allen Rutland; The Birth of the Bill of Rights, 1776–1791 University of North Carolina Press, (1955) online
  • Spaeth, Harold J.; and Smith, Edward C. (1991). HarperCollins College Outline: The Constitution of the United States (13th ed.). New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-467105-4. 

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State copies of Bill of Rights

History and analysis


  Results from FactBites:
 
Bill of Rights (291 words)
Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.
Articles 3 to 12, however, ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, constitute the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
When James Madison drafted the amendments to the Constitution that were to become the Bill of Rights, he drew heavily upon the ideas put forth in the Virginia Declaration of Rights.
United States Bill of Rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4024 words)
The Bill was influenced by George Mason's 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, works of the Age of Enlightenment pertaining to natural rights, and earlier English political documents such as the Magna Carta (1215).
The English Bill of Rights (1689), one of the fundamental documents of English law, differed substantially in form and intent from the American Bill of Rights, because it was intended to address only the rights of Parliamentarians sitting in Parliament against the Crown.
^ Preamble to the Bill of Rights (2006-03-10).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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