Bill of Rights: DefinedA list of freedoms that a government promises to protect. The First 10 Amendments (additions) to the Constitution.
How they came about:Opponents of the Constitution (Anti-Federalists) argued thatwithout a Bill of Rights, the new government could easilytrample on peoples liberties. The framers of the Constitution put together an addition tothe original document that included 10 amendments with amechanism to add more if necessary.
Amendments 1-2: Personal Freedoms 1. Protects the freedom of speech, religion, the press,peaceful assembly, and the right to petition the government. 2. Protects the right to keep and bear arms (weapons).
Amendments 3-5: prevents abuse ofpower 3. Soldiers cannot be housed in your home without your permission. 4. You and your property cannot be searched nor seized withoutprobable cause and/or a warrant, issued by a judge that specificallydescribes what they are searching for and where they are searching. 5. You have the right to due process, you cannot be tried twice forthe same crime (double jeopardy), you cannot be forced to confessto a crime, and your property cannot be taken by the governmentwithout "due compensation"
Amendments 6-8: Protection of thoseaccused of crimes. 6. You have the right to know what you are accused of, theright to a "speedy and public" trial by jury, to confrontwitnesses who testify against you, to call witnesses to testifyfor you, and to be represented by a lawyer. 7. In non-criminal cases, you can have a trial by jury if youare arguing over a value of 20 dollars or more. 8. Prevents excessive bail and "cruel and unusual"punishments
Amendments 9-10: Leaves theConstitution open-ended 9. Protects rights not specifically listed by the Constitution. 10. Powers not specifically given to the US Government bythe Constitution and powers not specifically withheld fromthe states by it belong to the States, or the people.
Since the original 10:There have been 17 new amendments added. The last one was in 1992. It says that any new Congressionalpay raises wont take effect until after the next Congressionalelections. To amend the Constitution, a proposed amendment must passthe House and Senate with a 2/3rds majority and must beaccepted by 3/4ths of the State Legislatures.
Notable Amendments13th - Outlawed slavery 14th - Made everyone citizens of the United States andguaranteed equal protection of the laws of the United States. 15th - Guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race. 18th - Outlawed alcoholic beverages. 19th - Guaranteed the right to vote regardless of gender. 21st - Outlawed the 18th Amendment.