Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The History of the Bill of Rights

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "The History of the Bill of Rights"— Presentation transcript:


2 The History of the Bill of Rights
In order for the Constitution to pass, the Federalists promised to add a Bill of Rights. James Madison was the Father of the Constitution and chief author of the Bill of Rights. Madison introduced his Bill of Rights to Congress and knew that it was going to be a battle for approval. In the end, Congress approved 12 amendments. The 12 amendments then went to the states for approval.

3 Approving the Bill of Rights
Most states quickly ratified the Bill of Rights. By the summer of 1790, nine states had approved at least 10 of the amendments. On December 15, 1791, Virginia became the 11th state to ratify the Bill of Rights – making them a part of our Constitution. Two of the original 12 amendments failed to win ratification in 1791. Fun Facts: The two amendments that failed dealt with the number of members of the House and limited the ability of Congress to raise their salary. Three of the original thirteen states did not approve the B of R: Georgia, Massachusetts, & Connecticut. All three finally approved them in 1939 – the 150th anniversary of the B of R.


5 Protects the 5 Basic Freedoms
Religion Speech Press Assembly Petition

6 “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”
This is called the establishment clause – which means that our Congress cannot establish an official national religion Engel v. Vitale (1962) – the Supreme Court ruled that the practice of prayer sponsored by a public school violated the establishment clause (even if it is voluntary) “or prohibiting the free exercise there of…” This is called the free exercise clause – establishes that all people are free to follow the religions practices of their choice. They are also free to follow no religion at all. Reynolds v. United States (1879) – Reynolds was a member of the Mormon church. He was practicing polygamy. He was arrested because polygamy violated federal law. How did the Supreme Court rule?

7 So Basically …….. Freedom of religion The First Amendment prevents the government from establishing an official religion. Citizens have freedom to attend a church, synagogue, temple or mosque of their choice — or not to attend at all. The First Amendment allows us to practice our religion the way we want to.

8 There are limits to freedom of speech:
“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech …” Free Speech guarantees Americans the right to say what is on our minds (in public or private). It also allows us the freedom to criticize our government & government officials. There are limits to freedom of speech: Treason – the act of aiding & comforting an enemy in a time of war Sedition – the use of language that encourages people to rebel against government. Slander – Verbally harming another person’s character. What type of government would punish people for criticizing them?



11 OR……….. Freedom of speech The First Amendment keeps the government from making laws that might stop us from saying what we think. People have the right to criticize the government and to share their opinions with others.

12 Limits to Freedom of the Press
“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom...of the press.” In colonial times, newspapers were forbidden to criticize the government or public officials even if the criticisms were true. Freedom of the press is the right to express ideas in writing. Freedom of the press includes both electronic and print media. Press includes: books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television and anything printed online. Limits to Freedom of the Press Libel – is written statement or visual presentation that harms another person’s character. The press serves as the watch dog of our government. What does this mean?

13 Basically……….. Freedom of the press A free press means we can get information from many different sources. The government cannot control what is printed in newspapers and books, broadcast on TV or radio or offered online. Citizens can request time on television to respond to views with which they disagree; they may write letters to newspaper editors and hope those letters will be printed for others to see. They can pass out leaflets that give their opinions. They can have their own Web pages and offer their opinions to others through the many means made available by the Internet.

14 “Congress shall make no law … abridging …the right of people peaceably to assemble.
This right gives Americans freedom to hold meetings to discuss problems, to protest government decisions, or to socialize. Meetings MUST be peaceful!

15 Freedom of assembly Citizens can come together in public and private gatherings. They can join groups for political, religious, social or recreational purposes. By organizing to accomplish a common goal, citizens can spread their ideas more effectively.

16 “Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people… to petition the government for redress of grievances…” This right means you have the right to ask the government to address your concerns. It also gives you the right to contact your representatives. It ensures we have government “By the People”

17 Right to petition “To petition the government for a redress of grievances” means that citizens can ask for changes in the government. They can do this by collecting signatures and sending them to their elected representatives; they can write, call or their elected representatives; they can support groups that lobby the government.

18 Amendment 2 Amendment 3 The right to keep and bear arms
This amendment gives us the right to own and carry a gun. In the 1790’s big national armies were not trusted, the fighting was done be state militias so people had to have the right to own a weapon. Amendment 3 Prohibits the quartering of soldiers. Keep in mind, there were no military bases during the Revolutionary War. British soldiers forced the colonists to give them food & a place to stay. This amendment prevents this from happening.

19 Amendments 4 through 8 establish codes of conduct for police and the courts.
Protects citizens from being abused by the criminal justice system.

20 Protects citizens from unreasonable searches & seizures.
A search is reasonable if a judge issues a search warrant. Search warrant – a legal document that describes the place to be searched and the people or items to be seized. A search warrant can only be issued if there is good reason to believe that evidence of a crime will be found.

21 Does 5 Basic Things for the Accused
Says a grand jury must indict (formally accuse) the individual of the crime – they must decide if there is enough evidence to go to trial. This protects an accused person from hasty government action. Protects an individual from self-incrimination – having to testify against oneself. Double Jeopardy – being tried twice for the same crime. Due Process of law – cannot be punished for a crime until the law has been fairly applied to his/her case. In other words, government MUST act within the law. It can’t deny a person life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Eminent Domain – the government has the power to take property for public use. The government cannot take private property without giving the owner fair payment for it. In short the right to own private property is protected.

22 Does 4 things for the Accused
A person accused of a crime has the right to a prompt and public trial. A person must be informed of the charges against him/her (Miranda Rights) The accused has the right to hear and question all witnesses against them, and to have their own witnesses testify for them. The accused has the right to an attorney. If he/she can’t afford an attorney one will be provided to him/her.

23 It provides a trial by jury in cases that involve money or property worth more than $20.

24 This amendment prevents the courts from setting excessive bail.
Bail – is money or property that the accused gives the court to hold. It is a guarantee that the accused will return for their trial. The 8th amendment also prevents cruel and unusual punishment. Whipping and branding were once used in the U.S. They now are considered cruel The big question today is whether the death penalty is cruel & unusual punishment.


26 Americans have basic rights not listed in the Bill of Rights.
These rights have included the right to political activity and privacy.

27 Powers and rights not given to the federal government belong to the states or to the people.
This amendment gives that states the power to act independently of the federal government to protect citizens’ rights.

Watch the video: Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights. What rights did you see violated in this story? Create a visual representation of the rights that are most important to you.

29 The strength of the Constitution is that it can be changed when society’s attitudes change.
Civil Rights – rights guaranteed to all U.S. citizens. The Bill of Rights is the foundation for civil rights in this country. There was a series of amendments added to the Constitution after the Bill of Rights that extended civil rights in the United States.

30 Outlawed slavery in all states and in all lands governed by the U.S.
Amendments 13 through 15 are also called the Reconstruction Amendments. Why are they also called this? Outlawed slavery in all states and in all lands governed by the U.S. Passed in 1865

31 Did 3 Major Things: Passed in 1868
Granted full citizenship to African Americans Mentions due process – no state could take away a citizen’s life, liberty or property without due process. Guarantees every citizen within a state equal protection under the law.

32 No one could be denied the right to vote because of race or color
Passed in 1870 In spite of the 15th amendment, many former Confederate states passed laws to keep African Americans from voting. It was not until the 1960’s, that the U.S. Congress finally passed civil rights laws to guarantee voting rights for African Americans.


34 Who elected U.S. Senators before this amendment was passed?
Passed in 1913 Called for the direct election of U.S. Senators

35 Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote.
Passed in 1920 Gave all women the right to vote. Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. Famous women suffragists: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many others


37 Passed in 1961 Gave citizens living in the District of Columbia the right to vote for president and vice president

38 Passed in 1964 Banned the use of the poll tax as a requirement in a national election. What is a poll tax? A tax a person had to pay to register to vote. This tax was used to keep African Americans from voting.

39 Passed in 1971 Lowered the voting age in all elections to 18.
If 18 year olds were old enough to go to war, they are old enough to vote. Passed in 1971

40 Citizens must be informed active, and involved.
In order to ensure that our rights and freedoms are protected, citizens have duties and responsibilities to the country. Citizens must be informed active, and involved.

41 Obeying the Law Attending School Paying taxes Serving in the Armed Forces Appearing in Court

42 A democracy cannot function without educated citizens.
The U.S. highly values education that is why we have free, public education. A democracy cannot function without educated citizens. U.S. Citizens need to be informed in order to choose our leaders. If you work or buy things, you probably have to pay taxes. Taxes provide us with services we need: police, firemen, paved streets, schools, electric and our military.

43 Whenever America has been threatened, its citizens have come together to defend it.
When the country has needed huge numbers of soldiers, it sometimes has had to establish a draft – laws that require men of certain ages and qualifications to serve in the military. The U.S. has not instituted a draft since 1973. 18 year old men must register to serve in the military if they meet the qualifications.

44 Citizens must report to serve as members of a jury, if they are called to do so. This responsibility is called jury duty. Our Constitution guarantees citizens a trial by jury of their peers. Citizens must also testify in court if called as witnesses. For our justice system to function, citizens must fulfill their duty to serve on juries and appear as witnesses.

45 Voting Being Informed Taking Part in Government Helping Your Community Respecting & Protecting Others’ Rights

Download ppt "The History of the Bill of Rights"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google