How have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights made it possible for Americans to enjoy the rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"The Declaration of Independence says everyone is...

How have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights made it possible for Americans to enjoy the rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"

The Declaration of Independence says everyone is created equal with rights to "life, libery and the pursuit of happiness."

Asked on by shellychan

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Constitution and the Bill of Rights have helped allow Americans to enjoy the rights you mention by setting up a form of government that is effective but limited.

To keep the rights mentioned, we need a government.  The government protects our rights by doing things like creating police departments and military forces to protect our lives.  However, when we create a government with this much power, it can be a danger to us because it might use its power to take away our rights.  The Constitution and Bill of Rights help to prevent this in two major ways.

  • Separation of powers and checks and balances.  These things make it harder for one person or part of government to be strong enough to tyrannize us.
  • Limited government.  The Constitution and Bill of Rights specifically list things that the government may not do to us.

Thus, the Constitution and Bill of Rights protect the rights promised to us in the Declaration by creating a government that is powerful, but which has limitations placed on it.

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