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Bill of Rights & Amendments

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Bill of Rights and Amendments

Misty Lubin-Salazar

HIS 301

February 18, 2013

Charlotte Lopez-Schermer

Bill of Rights and Amendments

Part of what makes the United States such a great country is the freedom, liberty, and civil rights that are given to its residents and citizens. These rights and liberties were not always in place, people had to fight to have the rights that now are sometimes taken for granted. So how and why did the Unites States come to enforce these rights and liberties? How are amendments to the Constitution made and why? How do the Bill of Rights and amendments to the Constitution affect the way we live today? These are some of the questions that bring forth answers to how the Bill of Rights and amendments to the Constitution enable U.S. residents and citizens to enjoy the civil rights that we have today.

The nations Forefathers when drafting the Constitution set it up so that the Constitution would be able to be changed if need be. They did not want our new government to be a tyrannical form of government such as the Britain Rule that they had escaped from. The amendments to the Constitution were and are meant to rectify any problems with the original document. An amendment to the Constitution is made when it is necessary for a change while still preserving what the U.S. Constitution stands for.

The authority to amend the Constitution is derived from Article V of the Constitution. Once Congress proposes an amendment the Archivist of the United States who heads the national Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is charged with the responsibility for administrating the ratifications process of the proposed amendment (N.A.R.A.). An amendment to the constitution can be proposed by Congress with two-thirds majority vote of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. An amendment can also be proposed by a constitution convention called for by two-thirds of the state legislators (N.A.R.A.). The proposed amendment is then sent to NARA's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) to be processed and published. The proposed amendment is then sent to each individual state for consideration. The governor of each state will then give the proposed amendment to state legislators for consideration of the amendment. A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution once it is ratified or approved by three-fourths of the states (N.A.R.A.). The first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights came to be because some people mainly Anti-Federalists feared that with a central government there would be the possibility of a tyrannical government where the public's individual and state rights could be violated. Anti-Federalists wanted for states to retain their power that they had in the Article of Confederacy rather than give up some of the state's power to a national government. Anti-Federalists believed that states should retain most of their power to govern the people as states were more closely involved with the general public and also felt that a national government did not have the state's best interest in mind (Patterson, 2009). When the Constitution was being discussed for ratification the Anti-Federalist wanted a Bill of Rights to be included to ensure that individual right would be retained be each individual and could not be violated by the government (Bill of Rights Purpose). Many colonial governments and states had their own Bill of Rights already in place so this idea was not a foreign idea. In the end the Bill of rights was added to the Constitution to protect certain rights to each and every American and also to rally the participation of the Anti-Federalists to accept and adopt the Constitution (Bill of Rights Purpose). If it wasn't for the for the Bill of Rights being added to the Constitution a large portion of Americans would not have adopted the Constitution and forever changing the face of America as we know it today. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as the The Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights had lasting effects on society and the Constitution. The main impression that has resulted from the Bill of Rights I think is the confidence of that the American people have in the government and to know that their rights and freedoms are protected and will not be violated. Thanks to the Bill of Rights being added to the Constitution it later led to other amendments to the Constitution that would



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