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Topic: Historical Documents

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1 Topic: Historical Documents
Some documents in American history have considerable importance for the development of the nation. Students use historical thinking to examine key documents which form the basis for the United States of America.

2 Historical Document #5: The Bill of Rights
Content Statement: The Bill of Rights is derived from English law, ideas of the Enlightenment, the experiences of the American colonists, early experiences of self-government and the national debate over the ratification of the Constitution of the United States. Expectations for Learning: Cite evidence for historical precedents to the rights incorporated in the Bill of Rights.

3 Historical Document #5: The Bill of Rights
Content Elaborations: The Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States is derived from several sources. These range from the English heritage of the United States to the debates over the ratification of the Constitution. English sources for the Bill of Rights include the Magna Carta (1215) and the Bill of Rights of The Magna Carta marked a step toward constitutional protection of rights and recognized trial by jury. The English Bill of Rights affirmed many rights including the right to habeas corpus and it protected against cruel punishments. Enlightenment ideas about natural rights of life, liberty and property were becoming widespread as American colonists were experiencing what they saw as infringements upon their rights. The Quartering Act of 1765 was seen as an infringement on property rights. The Massachusetts Government Act placed severe limitations on the colonists’ ability to assemble in their town meetings. The Enlightenment ideas and British policies became focal points of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. As the American people began to govern themselves, they incorporated individual rights in governing documents. The Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) included protections for the press, religious exercise and the accused. Other colonies also included individual rights as part of their constitutions. The national government, under the Articles of Confederation, enacted the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which provided for religious liberty, due process, protections for the accused and property rights. One of the key issues in the debate over the ratification of the Constitution concerned individual rights. The strength of Anti-Federalist arguments that the original Constitution did not contain adequate protections for individual rights led to the introduction in the First Congress of nine amendments devoted to rights of individuals.

4 WHO WHAT WHEN WHY WHERE 1. Declaration of Independence
2. Northwest Ordinance 3. Constitution of the United States 4. Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers 5. Bill of Rights WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN WHY

5 The Bill of Rights The first 10 Amendments which grant us our personal freedoms as citizens

6 Article I Set up the legislative branch (Congress) 2 houses
Senate (each state has 2) House of Representatives (membership based on state population)

7 Article II Set up the Executive Branch (President)

8 Article III Set up the Judicial Branch (Supreme Court)

9 1st Amendment The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and petition. This means that we all have the right to: practice any religion we want to to speak freely to assemble (meet) to address the government (petition) to publish newspapers, TV, radio, Internet (press)


11 2nd Amendment The 2nd Amendment protects the right to bear arms, which means the right to own a gun.

12 3rd Amendment The 3rd Amendment says “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” This means that we cannot be forced to house or quarter soldiers.

13 4th Amendment The 4th Amendment protects the people from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that the police must have a warrant to enter our homes. It also means the government cannot take our property, papers, or us, without a valid warrant based on probable cause (good reason).



16 5th Amendment The 5th Amendment protects people from being held for committing a crime unless they are properly indicted, (accused) You may not be tried twice for the same crime (no double jeopardy) You don’t have to testify against yourself in court. (Self-incrimination)

17 6th Amendment The 6th Amendment guarantees a speedy and public trial (you can’t be kept in jail for over a year without a trial) an impartial jury (doesn’t already think you are guilty) that the accused can confront witnesses against them the accused must be allowed to have a lawyer

18 7th Amendment The 7th Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial in a civil case A civil trial differs from a criminal trial. A civil trial is when someone sues someone else. A criminal trial is when the state tries to convict someone of a crime.

19 8th Amendment The 8th Amendment guarantees that punishments will be fair and not cruel, and that extraordinarily large fines will not be set.

20 9th Amendment Any right not in the Constitution is still guaranteed
All rights not stated in the Constitution and not forbidden by the Constitution belong to the people. This means that the states can do what they want if the Constitution does not forbid it.

21 10th Amendment The 10th Amendment states that any power not granted to the federal government belongs to the states or to the people.

22 The Next 17 Amendments

23 11th Amendment prohibits federal courts from hearing cases in which a state is sued by an individual from another state or another country

24 12th Amendment The electoral college must have two separate elections for president and vice president

25 13th Amendment Abolition of slavery

26 14th Amendment If you are born or naturalized in the U.S. then you are a citizen of the U.S.

27 All men, regardless of race, have the right to vote
15th Amendment All men, regardless of race, have the right to vote

28 16th Amendment Set up the income tax

29 Direct election of Senators
17th Amendment Direct election of Senators

30 18th Amendment Prohibition

31 19th Amendment Women’s suffrage

32 20th Amendment moved the date that the president takes office to January 20th, and congress to january 3rd

33 Repealed the 18th amendment
21st Amendment Repealed the 18th amendment

34 Limits president to 2 four year terms
22nd Amendment Limits president to 2 four year terms

35 23rd Amendment gives one house of representatives and the right to vote to the District of Columbia

36 24th Amendment Banned poll tax

37 VP takes over for president in a circumstance (surgeries, etc.)
25th Amendment VP takes over for president in a circumstance (surgeries, etc.)

38 26th Amendment Voting age is 18

39 27th Amendment congressional raises are public record and do not go into effect until the next term

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