The main purpose of the U.S. Bill of Rights is to define the civil liberties of American citizens. It refers to the first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and it was introduced in 1789 to guarantee the protection of the basic rights that citizens continue to enjoy.Continue Reading
These amendments explicitly provide citizens the right to a public trial for criminal offenses, the right to demand fair and uncruel punishment, the right to question property seizures and arrests without a warrant, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to petition and the right to bear arms.
The Bill of Rights was proposed by James Madison and was formally ratified into effect on Dec. 15, 1791, by the first U.S. Congress.
The proposition for the bill came during the wake of declarations made by Federalist and Anti-Federalist representatives that the ratification of the original U.S. Constitution must be postponed because it did not adhere to the principles of liberty.
The idea of subsequent inclusion of the Bill of Rights was argued against by legislators during the ratification process, but compromises made by Federalists and Anti-Federalists representatives led to its eventual inclusion in the final draft of the Constitution.Learn more about The Constitution
ConstitutionFacts.com states that James Madison originally proposed the Bill of Rights because some of the founding fathers argued that the U.S. Constitution did not protect human rights. Key influences in this proposal include the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the English Declaration of Rights and works of the Age of Enlightenment.Full Answer >
According to About.com, one of the principal arguments against the Bill of Rights was that the government would be free to ignore rights not specifically mentioned in the document. The Ninth Amendment explicitly refutes that interpretation.Full Answer >
The Ninth Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights and provides further detail into the rights of United States citizens. The Ninth Amendment was developed primarily by James Madison.Full Answer >
Selective incorporation prevents states from making laws that infringe on the rights of U.S. citizens, as defined in the Bill of Rights. This is defined in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Full Answer >