Compare and contrast the US Bill of Rights and the English Bill of Rights. 

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both of these bills of rights are meant to ensure that there are certain rights that are retained by the people and upon which the government cannot infringe.  However, the American Bill of Rights is specifically concerned with issues of civil liberties whereas the English Bill of Rights is also concerned with what we would call separation of powers and with the way in which their government is set up.

The American Bill of Rights is specifically aimed at the individual civil liberties enjoyed by the people.  It protects the freedom of speech, press, and religion.  It protects the right to bear arms.  It gives people the right to a jury trial with representation by counsel.  It prevents the government from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures and from using cruel and unusual punishments.  All of these are about civil liberties and do not have anything to do with how the government is set up.

The English Bill of Rights has some provisions that are similar to this.  It guarantees the right to petition the government and the right to bear arms.  It forbids cruel and unusual punishment and it forbids punishments without what we would call the due process of law.  However, it also has other provisions that are more about the setup of the government.  It says, for example, that the monarch may not tax without consent of Parliament.  It says that the monarch may not interfere with elections to Parliament.  These are issues of separation of powers, not civil liberties.

Thus, both bills of rights are meant to protect the people and limit the government, but the English Bill of Rights includes both provisions for civil liberties and provisions regarding the setup of the government.  The US Bill of Rights, by contrast, is solely concerned with civil liberties.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are similarities and differences between the English Bill of Rights and Bill of Rights that were added to our constitution. Both documents guaranteed certain freedoms to the citizens. In our Bill of Rights, some of the rights that were guaranteed to our citizens included having the rights of freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, the right to be free from having to house soldiers in their homes, and the right to be safe from unreasonable searches by the government. These are rights that individual people have.

While the English Bill of Rights included some protections for their citizens, such as the right to petition the government to address concerns that the citizens had and the right to bear arms, the English Bill of Rights included some provisions that dealt with the government itself. In the English Bill of Rights, Parliament made it known it was going to be a player in the English system of government. The English Bill of Rights guaranteed that people who represented the English government would be able to discuss and debate issues and that there would be elections that would occur. Therefore, the English Bill of Rights went further than the US Bill of Rights since it included provisions about the operation of the English government as well as protecting certain rights of the citizens.