From the most symbolic of stances, the effect of the amendments of the Bill of Rights on American society is to provide a sense of purpose and focus to citizenship and governmental rule. The first ten amendments as seen as "the" Bill of Rights serves to identify the values and concepts that we, as a political society, value above all. The effect of this on American society is to provide a sense of focus and direction to our political state of being. For example, we as a political group of beings understand the importance of freedom of expression and political activism. We understand the need for the protection of the accused persons' rights in our legal system. The Bill of Rights' effect on American society is to bring focus and attention to the ideals and concepts upon which value must be placed. In their recognition, one of the hallmarks of American citizenship is accomplished in that American citizens fully grasp and understand the function and purpose of these amendments, recognizing their need to be present in daily activities and our political state of being.
The major effect of the Bill of Rights on American history is that these amendments have emphasized to Americans how important the concept of civil liberties is. In part because of these amendments, the US has always been based largely on the idea that all Americans have various rights that are protected from government interference.
The Bill of Rights has not actually protected Americans from all infringements on their rights. There have been many times when unpopular rights (speech for unpopular groups, rights of criminal defendants) have been infringed upon. Even so, the presence of the Bill of Rights makes Americans think about civil liberties and it makes them take those rights seriously. Over time, we generally have come to honor these rights more and more.
The Bill of Rights is something of a statement of what we aspire to be. Because it is there, we are constantly reminded of the goal of our society. This is the major effect of the Bill of Rights on the United States.