Essay on Bill of Rights

Essay on Bill of Rights

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The “Bill of rights” had been proposed as a follow up to Parliament’s original Habeas Corpus bill, which safeguarded personal freedom and liberty. Now just about every colony had a bill of rights, so James Madison suggested that if the United States was to survived as a a country it would need to have a set of rules versus thirtheen and every state would have the same rules.
In 1789, James Madison proposed a series of legislative articles to the first United States congress, but the processes took a while; Madison proposed twelve but only ten became known as the “Bill of Rights” in December 15, 1791.
Brant gives a summary of how these amendments proposed by James Madison, would be added quickly to the Constitution:
The first ten amendments were added to the Constitution of the United States in a period of uneasy calm. The Americans who were most apprehensive over that untried document, because its guarantees of liberty did not go far enough, included a great many who wanted to cut down its grants of legislative and executive power. But the amendments were drafted and submitted to the nation by men who supported both the substantive powers of the new government and the protection of civil rights and liberties. If some of them had little zest for the amendments they voted for, they at least recognized the force of the popular demand and joined in satisfying it. The major task of Madison and his congressional associates was to place the amending of the Constitution high on the House of Representatives agenda, ahead of important bills that were to fill out the structure of government. With that achieved, the amendments submitted by Madison were taken up,debated and perfected with scarce a single move to weaken them. (Brant 223)...


... middle of paper ...


...eight. The expansion of rights which McDowell thinks is hasty is actually just a reflection of the Constitution’s durability, in allowing for amendment and reinterpretation.




Works Cited

Amar, Akhil Reed. The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998. Print.

Brant, Irving. The Bill of Rights: Its Origin and Meaning. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965. Print.

Labunski, Richard. James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

Levy, Leonard W. Origins of the Bill of Rights. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999. Print.

McDowell, Gary L. “The Explosion and Erosion of Rights.” In Bodenhamer, David J. and Ely, James W. The Bill of Rights in Modern America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. Print.

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