Last Updated 10 Sep 2020

American Government: The Bill of Rights

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The Bill of Rights is the first ten of the amendments in the United States Constitution which was ratified in 1789. The Bill of Rights was drafted to limit the powers of the federal government and to enhance protection for all of the individual citizens.

Amongst the rights that the Bill of Rights promotes are the following:

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  1. right to speech;
  2. freedom of the press and religion;
  3. right to keep and bear arms;
  4. freedom of assembly;
  5. freedom to petition;
  6. protection from unreasonable search and seizure;
  7. protection against cruel punishment;
  8. freedom from self-incrimination;
  9. right to a speedy and impartial trial;
  10. representation by counsel (“United States Constitution”).

The Bill of Rights is an essential and fundamental part of the United States Constitution, as it mirrors the struggle of the citizens to fight for their freedom and rights. The ratification of the Bill of Rights came from the government's purpose of protecting individual rights. Democracy and liberty were amongst the top priorities in drafting the bill. These two have become the main aspects of the framework for shaping the way policies and laws were formulated (“The Bill of Rights” and “The New Nation”).

However, there were still flaws and issues that the bill was not able to cater to. Although the intention of the bill was to provide protection for individuals, there were issues relative to it that weren't tackled in the bill. For example, the slave trade wasn't given priority in the bill of rights which made the issue even worse during the Civil War (“The New Nation”). But nonetheless, the Bill of Rights still stands as the heart and soul of the American Constitution as it reflects all the struggles towards freedom by the American community.

Works Cited

  1. The Bill of Rights: A Brief History. 4 March 2002. American Civil Liberties Union. 20 February 2008 <http://www. aclu. org/crimjustice/gen/10084res20020304. html>
  2. The New Nation (1790-1828). (n. d. ) America's Library. 20 February 2008 <http://www. americaslibrary. gov/cgi-bin/page. cgi/jb/nation/bofright_4>
  3. United States Constitution. (n. d. ) Cornell University Law School. 20 February 2008 <http://www. law. cornell. edu/constitution/constitution. billofrights. html>

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Cite this page

American Government: The Bill of Rights. (2016, Jul 11). Retrieved from

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