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The Bill of Rights was a compromise. In order to get the constitution ratified, it had to be amended a certain way. The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments. Why they were not written into the constitution in the first place is an interesting historical story. They are considered an important part of the constitution, and in fact many people think they ARE the constitution.
I generally think of the Bill of Rights as the part of the Constitution that is for the people. Much of the Constitution deals with how the government will work, the Bill of Rights however deals more with how the people will be treated and protected.
A few other things to remember about the Bill of Rights are that it's the only section of amendments that were added as an entire block--the first ten amendments--and were ratified as one in Congress and the States.
Another important thing to notice is that nearly every amendment is a direct reaction to an injustice we faced under the British. The 3rd Amendment--No housing of soldiers in private homes--is not the least bit controversial and most Americans don't even know about it. But the reason we had to put it in the Bill of Rights was because the British had passed the Quartering Act in the 1760s and soldiers were housed in citizens' homes without their consent. Other amendments, free religion, free speech, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, etc. were all reactions against British oppression in the colonial era.
If you are talking about the Bill of Rights of the United States, here are some important facts about it.
First, the Bill of Rights is made up of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. They were all added at the same time.
Second, the Bill of Rights was added because the antifederalists wanted it. They were worried that the federal government would infringe upon their rights.
Third, the Bill of Rights protects many of the most important rights people have. Specifically, it protects things like the freedom of speech, press and religion. It also protects people from being imprisoned for no reason or punished too harshly.
isnt the bill of rights based mostly off of the English Bill of Rights?
Bill of rights, in general, refers to a statement or document highlighting the fundamental rights and liberties of the people. Different countries have identified and adopted a different sets of such rights. Constitutions and other laws of a country forbids the government to violate these rights. Most bills of rights guarantee to everyone the right to life, freedoms of speech, freedom of religion, and equality before law. It is argued that these rights are birth rights of individuals, that do not require any separate justification for specific individuals. Anyone person acquires these rights just by the act of being born.
In the USA the Bill of Rights specifically refers to the first 10 amendments to the constitution made in 1791. These rights include guaranteed freedom of speech, religion, the press, and the rights to trial by jury, bear arms and peaceful assembly.
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