The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights
In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to provide specific freedoms to citizens and limit the power of the government.The English constitutional settlement of 1689, confirming the deposition of James II and the accession of William and Mary, guaranteeing the Protestant succession, and laying down the principles of parliamentary supremacy.
The new government of the United States convened in New York City in early 1789. The First Congress immediately passed a tariff on imports that would provide 90 percent of the government’s revenue. It also created a system of federal courts. Congressmen then turned to the bill of rights that some of the state ratifying conventions had promised their citizens. Congress ultimately passed 12 amendments to the Constitution. Ten of these were ratified by the states and became the Bill of Rights.
The First Amendment protected the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and religion from federal legislation. The Second and Third amendments guaranteed the right to bear arms and made it difficult for the government to house soldiers in private homes—provisions favoring a citizen militia over a professional army. The Fourth through Eighth amendments defined a citizen’s rights in court and when under arrest. The Ninth Amendment stated that the enumeration of these rights did not endanger other rights, and the Tenth Amendment said that powers not granted the national government by the Constitution remained with the states and citizens.
Summary: a statement of fundamental rights and privileges (especially the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, a bill of rights is a more general formal statement of rights and freedoms for a group of people. The US Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791, and it guarantees among many other things the rights of free speech, freedom of religion, and trial by jury.