How did the Constitution's Bill of Rights change the view of  United States society?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think it is undeniable that the presence of the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights, changed the focus of how the government and social setting of the United States viewed itself and is viewed.  The Bill of Rights guaranteed a certain level of individual focus towards how the government treated its citizens.  There is a primacy placed on the individual experience in the inclusion of the Bill of Rights.  The individual narrative is something that becomes possible only through the entitlements guaranteed in the first ten amendments, and the subsequent ones to follow.  I think that this becomes a major part of the social experience in America, a nation where individuals viewed themselves and their social order as representing an individual quest.  In terms of how others viewed American society, it becomes evident that the need to stress the experience of the individual, the focus being placed on the "I," is something that represents the legacy of America and the idea of what individuals can do as opposed to what individuals could lose at the hands of authority.

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