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The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights came about mainly because Antifederalists had criticized the Constitution for its lack of individual rights. They were not a part of the original U.S.Constitution. These rights that were promised to be added to the Constitution were called amendments. The Bill of Rights were adopted because some states refused to approve the Constitution unless the Bill of rights were added. During the summer of 1789, a congressional committee along with James Madison, recorded and discussed the conditions that would become the Bill of Rights. James Madison did not think it was a good time to hold a convention of the states. Being that holding a convention with agreement of two-thirds of the states or two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress were the only way amendments could be proposed, James Madison decided to draft the amendments himself by submitting them to Congress. In 1791, the first ten amendments to the Constitution were accepted and called the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights generally state the rights of the people.
Freedom of Religion, Speech, and Press
The first amendment is the Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech and Freedom for the Press; rights assembly and petition. It states that congress can not force anyone to believe in a certain religion. As long as the people are not causing harm or damage to anything or anyone they have the right to chose their own religion. Freedom of speech gives people the right to speak freely as long as it does not offend another person. Freedom of press allows the people to print the information that lets the public know what is going on. Freedom of assembly states that people have the right to assemble peacefully. This amendment was important because it allows the people to have more responsibility, in a sense, for themselves.
Right to Bear Arms
Amendment two is the Right to Bear Arms. In this amendment a well equipped militia is made necessary to every state and here, the right is given to people to keep weapons. The people can protect themselves by having those weapons. This amendment came about so Congress could not disarm a state militia. Although this only prohibits the national government from limiting the rights to carry weapons, not the state government.
Housing of Soldiers
Amendment three states that a soldier can not at any time of peace or war be quartered or housed, without consent of the owner. The British would intrude of the privacy of the colonists during war. The people thought of this as unnecessary but at the time they were ruled by England and did not have much choice. They were forced to take soldiers in their homes, feed and clothe them with their own belongings.
Search and Seizure Warrants
Amendment four states the Search and Seizure Warrants for the people. In this amendment people are given the right to their privacy. Privacy against unreasonable searches and against private belongings being seized. People should have the right to feel secure in their homes and not have to feel that they are being invaded upon. At any moment an officer, general, etc., can come and search the home for any reason. This amendment came about to prevent that.
Rights of Accused Persons
In amendment five rights are given to the accused in criminal cases. The individual is guaranteed certain rights when on trial and the right to life, liberty and property. The rights of the accused is stated clearly in this amendment. They can not be held to admit to a capital crime unless indicted in front of a grand jury. They can not be charged twice for the same crime. A person can be tried a second time if a mistrial is declared, if jury can not agree on a verdict, or if the person himself requests a new trial. They have the right to due process of law which is proper legal procedure. Private property can not be taken for public use unless compensation is given to the owner.
Right to Speedy Trial
Amendment six is the protection in criminal trials and rights to a fair trial. The accused have the right to a prompt trial by an impartial jury in the state in which the crime had been committed. This person has to be informed and notified
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United States, James Madison, Law, Politics, 1st United States Congress, American Enlightenment, Presidency of George Washington, United States Bill of Rights, United States Constitution, Constitutional amendment, Rights, Incorporation of the Bill of Rights
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