Die Handves van Regte - Opstel, Grondwetlike Konvensie en Wysigings

Die Handves van Regte - Opstel, Grondwetlike Konvensie en Wysigings

Na die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring in 1776, het die stigters hulle tot die samestelling van die state en daarna die federale grondwet gewend. Alhoewel 'n handves van regte om die burgers te beskerm aanvanklik nie belangrik geag is nie, het die Grondwet se ondersteuners besef dat dit van kardinale belang is om bekragtiging te bereik. Danksy die pogings van James Madison, is die Handves van Regte - die eerste tien wysigings aan die Amerikaanse Grondwet - op 15 Desember 1791 bekragtig.

Invloed van Magna Carta

Die wortels van die Handves van Regte lê diep in die Anglo-Amerikaanse geskiedenis. In 1215 het die Engelse koning John, onder druk van opstandige baronne, sy seël aan Magna Carta gesit, wat onderdane beskerm het teen koninklike magsmisbruik. Onder die belangrikste bepalings van Magna Carta is die vereiste dat verrigtinge en vervolgings volgens die "wet van die land" - die voorloper van "behoorlike regsproses" - en 'n verbod op verkoop, ontkenning of vertraging van geregtigheid moet wees.

In reaksie op arbitrêre optrede van Karel I, het die parlement in 1628 die petisie van reg aanvaar, wat onwettige gevangenisstraf veroordeel en ook bepaal dat daar geen belasting moet kom “sonder die toestemming van die parlement”. In 1689, met die beperking van die Glorious Revolution (wat William en Mary op die troon geplaas het), het die Parlement die Handves van Regte aanvaar. Die naam voorsien nie net die Amerikaanse dokument van 'n eeu later nie, die Engelse Handves van Regte voorsien 'n paar van die spesifieke bepalings van die Amerikaanse wetsontwerp - byvoorbeeld die verbod op die agtste wysiging op buitensporige borgtog en boetes en op wrede en ongewone straf.

LEES MEER: Hoe het Magna Carta die Amerikaanse grondwet beïnvloed?

Die idee van geskrewe dokumente wat individuele vryhede beskerm, het vroeg in die Amerikaanse kolonies van Engeland posgevat. Koloniale handveste (soos die 1606 -handves vir Virginia) het verklaar dat diegene wat na die nuwe wêreld gemigreer het dieselfde "voorregte, franchises en immuniteite" moet geniet asof hulle in Engeland woon. In die jare voor die breuk met die moederland (veral na die seëlwet van 1765), het Amerikaners traktate geskryf en resolusies aangeneem wat hul aanspraak op regte op Magna Carta, op die koloniale handves en oor die leer van die natuurreg berus.

Grondwetlike konvensie

Nadat die onafhanklikheid in 1776 verklaar is, het die Amerikaanse state hulle onmiddellik tot die skryf van staatsgrondwette en staatswetsontwerpe gewend. In Williamsburg was George Mason die hoofargitek van Virginia's Declaration of Rights. Hierdie dokument, wat Lockean -idees oor natuurlike regte verweef het met konkrete beskerming teen spesifieke misbruik, was die model vir handves van regte in ander state en uiteindelik vir die federale handves van regte. (Mason se verklaring was ook invloedryk in die opstel van die Franse verklaring van regte van mens en burger in 1789).

In 1787, tydens die konstitusionele konvensie in Philadelphia, het Mason opgemerk dat hy "wou dat die plan voorafgegaan is deur 'n handves van regte". Elbridge Gerry het 'n komitee aangestel om so 'n wetsontwerp op te stel, maar die afgevaardigdes het die mosie sonder debat verslaan. Hulle het nie die beginsel van 'n handves van regte gekant nie; hulle het dit eenvoudig onnodig geag, in die lig van die teorie dat die nuwe federale regering slegs een van opgesomde magte sou wees. Sommige van die Framers was ook skepties oor die nut van wat James Madison 'perkamentversperrings' teen meerderhede noem; hulle het ter beskerming gekyk na strukturele reëlings soos die skeiding van magte en kontrole en saldo's.

Teenstanders van bekragtiging het vinnig beslag gelê op die afwesigheid van 'n handves van regte en federaliste, veral Madison, het gou besef dat hulle moet aanbied om wysigings aan die Grondwet by te voeg nadat dit bekragtig is. Slegs deur so 'n belofte te maak, kon die Grondwet se ondersteuners bekragtiging bereik in noue verdeelde state soos New York en Virginia.

LEES MEER: 7 dinge wat u nie van die grondwetlike konvensie mag weet nie

James Madison stel wysigings op

In die eerste kongres het Madison onderneem om sy belofte na te kom. Deur die wysigings noukeurig af te wys van voorstelle wat in die staatsbekragtigingskonvensies gemaak is, het Madison sy projek gelei deur die mate van onverskilligheid van sommige lede (wat gedink het dat die huis belangriker werk moes doen) en reguit vyandigheid van ander (antifederaliste wat gehoop op 'n tweede byeenkoms om die magte van die federale regering te verswak). In September 1789 aanvaar die Huis en die Senaat 'n konferensieverslag waarin die taal van voorgestelde wysigings aan die Grondwet uiteengesit word.

Binne ses maande nadat die wysigings - die Handves van Regte - by die state ingedien is, het nege dit bekragtig. Nog twee state was nodig; Die bekragtiging van Virginia, op 15 Desember 1791, het die Handves van Regte deel van die Grondwet gemaak. (Tien wysigings is bekragtig; twee ander, wat handel oor die aantal verteenwoordigers en die vergoeding van senatore en verteenwoordigers, was nie.)

Op hul gesig is dit duidelik dat die wysigings van toepassing is op optrede deur die federale regering, nie op optrede deur die state nie. In 1833, in Barron v. Baltimore, Hoofregter John Marshall het hierdie begrip bevestig. Barron het die stad gedagvaar vir skade aan 'n kaai, en berus op die eis van die vyfde wysiging dat privaat eiendom nie sonder openbare vergoeding vir openbare gebruik geneem moet word nie. Marshall het beslis dat die vyfde wysiging slegs bedoel was as 'n beperking op die uitoefening van mag deur die regering van die Verenigde State en nie van toepassing is op die wetgewing van die state nie.

LEES MEER: Voordat James Madison die Handves van Regte opgestel het, het hy aangevoer dat die Grondwet daarsonder goed was

Wysigings na die handves van regte

Die burgeroorlog en heropbou het in die nasleep van die veertiende wysiging gebring, wat onder meer verklaar dat geen staat 'enige persoon lewens, vryheid of eiendom sonder die regsproses mag ontneem nie'. In hierdie paar woorde lê die saad van 'n revolusie in die Amerikaanse staatsreg. Die rewolusie het in 1947 begin aanneem, in die onenigheid van justisie Hugo Black Adamson v. Kalifornië. Nadat hy die geskiedenis van die aanneming van die veertiende wysiging hersien het, het Black tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die geskiedenis "afdoende bewys" dat die wysiging bedoel is om te verseker dat "geen staat sy burgers die voorregte en beskerming van die Handves van Regte kan ontneem nie."

Justice Black se teorie oor “groothandel” is nog nooit deur die Hooggeregshof aanvaar nie. Gedurende die bloeitydperk van die Warren -hof, in die 1960's, het die regters egter 'n proses van 'selektiewe inlywing' begin. In elke geval het die hof gevra of 'n spesifieke bepaling van die Handves van Regte noodsaaklik is vir 'fundamentele regverdigheid'; as dit was, dan moet dit van toepassing wees op die state, net soos op die federale regering. Deur hierdie proses is byna al die belangrike bepalings van die Handves van Regte nou van toepassing op die state. 'N Gedeeltelike lys bevat die regte van spraak, pers en godsdiens van die eerste wysiging; die beskerming van die vierde wysiging teen onredelike soektogte en beslagleggings; die voorreg van die vyfde wysiging teen self-inkriminasie; en die reg van die sesde wysiging om raad te gee, tot 'n spoedige en openbare verhoor en deur 'n jurie.

Die oorspronklike Grondwet is 'n paar keer gewysig-byvoorbeeld om voorsiening te maak vir direkte verkiesing van senatore en om die stemming aan agtienjariges te gee. Die Handves van Regte is egter nog nooit gewysig nie. Daar is natuurlik 'n skerp debat oor die interpretasie van die Hooggeregshof van spesifieke bepalings, veral waar sosiale belange (soos die beheer van dwelmverkeer) in spanning kom met die bepalings van die Handves van Regte (soos die Vierde Wysiging). Nietemin, so 'n debat bestaan ​​daar geen twyfel dat die Handves van Regte, as simbool en inhoud, die kern vorm van Amerikaanse opvattings oor individuele vryheid, beperkte regering en die oppergesag van die reg nie.

Die Handves van Regte

Wysiging I
Die Kongres mag geen wet maak met betrekking tot die vestiging van godsdiens of die verbod op die gratis uitoefening daarvan nie; of verkorting van die vryheid van spraak, of van die pers; of die reg van die mense om in vrede bymekaar te kom, en om 'n versoek aan die regering te vra vir 'n regstelling van griewe.

Wysiging II
As 'n goed gereguleerde burgermag noodsaaklik is vir die veiligheid van 'n vrystaat, word die reg van die mense om wapens te hou en te dra, nie geskend nie.

Wysiging III
Geen soldaat mag in vrede in 'n huis in 'n huis woon sonder toestemming van die eienaar nie, ook nie tydens oorlog nie, maar op 'n manier wat deur die wet voorgeskryf word.

Wysiging IV
Die reg van die mense om veilig te wees in hul persone, huise, papiere en gevolge, teen onredelike soektogte en beslagleggings, sal nie geskend word nie, en geen lasbriewe mag uitgereik word nie, maar op waarskynlike rede, ondersteun deur eed of bevestiging, en beskryf veral die plek waarna gesoek moet word, en die persone of dinge waarop beslag gelê moet word.

Wysiging V
Niemand mag aanspreeklik gehou word vir 'n hoofmisdaad of andersins berugte misdaad nie, tensy dit tydens 'n voorlegging of beskuldiging van 'n groot jurie is, behalwe in gevalle wat ontstaan ​​in die land- of vlootmagte, of in die burgermag, wanneer dit in werklike diens is ten tyde van oorlog of openbare gevaar; en niemand mag dieselfde oortreding twee maal in gevaar stel nie; word ook nie gedwing om in 'n strafsaak 'n getuie teen homself te wees nie, en word nie beroof van lewe, vryheid of eiendom sonder behoorlike regsproses nie; privaat eiendom mag ook nie sonder regverdige vergoeding vir openbare gebruik geneem word nie.

Wysiging VI
In alle strafregtelike vervolgings geniet die beskuldigde die reg op 'n spoedige en openbare verhoor deur 'n onpartydige jurie van die staat en distrik waarin die misdaad gepleeg is, watter distrik voorheen deur die wet vasgestel is, en om in kennis gestel te word van die die aard en oorsaak van die beskuldiging; om met die getuies teen hom gekonfronteer te word; om 'n verpligte proses vir die verkryging van getuies in sy guns te hê en om hulp van 'n advokaat vir sy verweer te hê.

Amendement VII
In staatsregte, waar die omstrede waarde twintig dollar oorskry, word die reg van verhoor deur die jurie behou, en geen feit wat deur 'n jurie verhoor word nie, word andersins in 'n hof van die Verenigde State heroorweeg as volgens die reëls van die gemenereg.

Amendement VIII
Oormatige borgtog word nie vereis nie, en buitensporige boetes word nie opgelê nie, en ook nie wreedaardige en ongewone strawwe nie.

Wysiging IX
Die opsomming in die Grondwet van sekere regte mag nie uitgelê word om ander wat deur die mense behou word, te ontken of te minag nie.

Wysiging X
Die bevoegdhede wat nie deur die Grondwet aan die Verenigde State gedelegeer is nie, en ook nie daardeur aan die Verenigde State verbied word nie, word onderskeidelik aan die State of aan die mense voorbehou.


Die Handves van Regte

Die handves van regte is deur die nuutgestigte Amerikaanse kongres goedgekeur.

'N Beduidende bekommernis van die anti-federaliste en wat hulle hartstogtelik en effektief aangevoer het, was dat die Grondwet niks oor individuele vryhede gesê het nie. Die beskerming van natuurlike regte en die vryheid van alle mense, so welsprekend voorgehou in die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring, was merkbaar afwesig in die Grondwet. Alhoewel dit 'n gebalanseerde politieke stelsel en 'n volksregering tot stand gebring het, het die Grondwet niks uitdrukliks gesê oor die beskerming van diegene wat dit bedoel was om te regeer nie. Hierdie uitgawe het tydens bekragtiging die grootste stokpunt geword. Die federaliste beweer dat die beskerming van regte inherent is aan so 'n stelsel dat die skeiding van magte nie een van die drie regeringsvertakkings in staat sal stel om regte te skend nie. Alexander Hamilton gaan verder en beweer dat 'n verklaring van regte 'n vermorsing van tyd sal wees, aangesien die beskerming van individuele vryhede en regte die beste aan die gemenereg oorgelaat word. So 'n stelsel, het Hamilton voorgestel, was baie meer buigbaar en aanpasbaar as die toekenning van regte in die Grondwet, waar dit reggestel sou word. Tog was baie nie daarvan oortuig dat hul regte beskerm sou word nie, wat die vermoedens toon oor die nuwe politieke stelsel wat in 1787 gevorm is. beskerm ook individuele regte.

Die Grondwet is middel 1788 bekragtig sonder enige vooraf of ooreenkoms oor regte, maar dit het steeds debat en kritiek veroorsaak. Dit was James Madison, self verantwoordelik vir 'n groot deel van die Grondwet, wat die eerste noemenswaardige federalis was wat ingegee het oor 'n voorgestelde Handves van Regte. In Junie 1789 stel Madison voor dat hoewel 'n herstrukturering van die hele Grondwet te moeilik was, hy die idee van 'n wysiging sou wou geniet: vir die veiligheid van regte, waarteen ek meen dat daar geen ernstige besware teen enige klas van ons kiesers is nie. ” Dit was Madison wat 'n reeks voorgestelde wysigings opgestel het. Hy haal die inhoud uit drie bronne: John Locke's Two Treatises of Government, die Engelse Handves van Regte (1689) en die meer kontemporêre Virginia -verklaring van regte (Junie 1776). In oorleg met ander het Madison 'n reeks voorgestelde wysigings opgestel, wat dit in Junie 1789 voor die kongres voorgelê het. Die kongres het dit aan die state oorgedra vir bekragtiging, 'n proses wat teen einde 1791 voltooi was.

'N Historikus se siening:
Die besluit om nie 'n lys van individuele regte op te neem nie, was 'n oordeelsfout van die ondersteuners van die Grondwet wat ernstige gevolge sou hê. Selfs terwyl die dokument afgehandel is, het verskeie prominente afgevaardigdes geëis dat 'n tweede grondwetlike byeenkoms gehou moet word om dit wat hulle as ernstige gebreke in die [dokument] wat hulle skryf, reg te stel. [Maar] dit het buitengewone inspanning van baie individue gekos om hierdie eerste byeenkoms te organiseer en tot 'n suksesvolle gevolgtrekking te bring. 'N Tweede konvensie kan politieke onstabiliteit veroorsaak, selfs chaos. ”
Richard E. Labunski

Die Handves van Regte is 'n reeks van tien wysigings aan die Grondwet wat die wettige, burgerlike en menseregte van alle Amerikaners en besoekers aan die Verenigde State uitdruklik beskerm. Onder diegene wat spesifiek beskerm word, is spraakvryheid, die pers, godsdiens, vergadering en versoekskrif. Regerings mag nie die lewe, vryheid of eiendom van individue afdwing nie, tensy die regte proses gevolg is. Wetlik word individue beskerm deur die vierde, vyfde en sesde wysiging: hulle het die reg op 'n verhoor deur die jurie, mag nie sonder aanklag aangehou word nie, mag nie twee keer vir dieselfde misdaad verhoor word nie en het die reg om hulself nie te beskuldig wanneer hulle gee nie getuienis. Omstrede beskerm die Tweede Wysiging ook die reg om wapens te dra (in die 1780's beskou dit as 'n belangrike burgerlike beskerming teen onderdrukkende regerings of staande leërs). Die derde wysiging verhoed dat die regering soldate in privaat huise kwarteer. Soos gesien kan word, spruit baie aspekte van die Handves van Regte uit griewe en opleggings wat gedurende die 1760's en 1770's waargeneem is.


Beperkte regering

Vroeë Amerikaanse wantroue oor regeringsmag kom uit die koloniale ervaring self. Die meeste historici meen dat die belangrikste gebeurtenis die seëlwet was, wat in 1765 deur die Engelse parlement goedgekeur is. Belasting is op alle regs- en sakedokumente gehef. Koerante, boeke en pamflette is ook belas. Selfs meer as die belasting self, was die Amerikaners erger oor die feit dat hulle opgelê is deur 'n verre regering waarin hulle nie verteenwoordig is nie. En hulle was verder woedend oor die wyse waarop die seëlwet toegepas is.

Gewapen met 'bystand' wat deur die parlement uitgereik is, het Britse doeane -inspekteurs mense se huise binnegegaan, selfs al het hulle geen bewyse van 'n oortreding van 'n seëlwet nie, en die besittings van mense ontplof op soek na smokkelary. Die kolonialiste het hierdie 'ongegronde' soektogte gehaat en dit het 'n versamelingspunt geword vir opposisie teen die Britse bewind.

Uit hierdie ervarings het 'n unieke Amerikaanse siening van mag en vryheid as natuurlike vyande gekom. Die stigters van die land was van mening dat dit die belangrikste taak was om die mag van die regering te beskerm en die vryheid te beskerm, en 'n nuwe doel vir die regering verklaar: die beskerming van individuele regte.

Die beskerming van regte was nie die enigste doel van die regering nie. Daar word steeds verwag dat die gemeenskap teen buitelandse en binnelandse bedreigings beskerm word, om ekonomiese groei te verseker en om buitelandse sake te voer. Dit was egter nie die regering se taak om mense te vertel hoe hulle hul lewens moet lei, in watter godsdiens hulle moet glo of waaroor hulle in 'n pamflet of koerant moet skryf nie. In hierdie sin is die idee van individuele regte die oudste en mees tradisionele Amerikaanse waardes.


Die Handves van Regte: Hoe het dit gebeur?

Die wysigings wat James Madison voorgestel het, was bedoel om steun in beide kongreshuise en die state te wen. Hy het hom toegespits op regteverwante wysigings, en ignoreer voorstelle wat die regering struktureel sou verander het.

Teenstand teen die Grondwet

Baie Amerikaners, oortuig deur 'n pamflet wat deur George Mason geskryf is, het die nuwe regering gekant. Mason was een van drie afgevaardigdes wat teenwoordig was op die laaste dag van die konvensie, wat geweier het om die Grondwet te onderteken omdat dit nie 'n handves van regte ontbreek nie.

James Madison en ander ondersteuners van die Grondwet het aangevoer dat 'n handves van regte nie nodig is nie omdat "die regering slegs die magte kan uitoefen wat die Grondwet bepaal." Maar hulle het ingestem om wysigings by te voeg wanneer bekragtiging in die sleutelstaat Massachusetts in gevaar was.

Bekendstelling van die Handves van Regte tydens die Eerste Kongres

Min lede van die Eerste Kongres wou die wysiging van die nuwe Grondwet 'n prioriteit maak. Maar James Madison, wat eens die sterkste teenstander van die Handves van Regte was, het op 8 Junie 1789 'n lys van wysigings aan die Grondwet voorgestel en 'sy kollegas meedoënloos agtervolg' om dit te verseker. Madison het besef hoe belangrik kiesers aan hierdie beskerming is, die rol wat hulle in die Grondwet kan vervat in die opvoeding van mense oor hul regte, en die kans dat die toevoeging daarvan kan verhinder dat sy teenstanders meer drastiese veranderinge daaraan maak.

Die bekragtiging van die Handves van Regte

Die Huis het 'n gesamentlike resolusie aangeneem met 17 wysigings gebaseer op Madison se voorstel. Die Senaat het die gesamentlike besluit verander na 12 wysigings. 'N Gesamentlike konferensiekomitee van die huis en die senaat het in September oorblywende meningsverskille besleg. Op 2 Oktober 1789 stuur president Washington afskrifte van die 12 wysigings wat die kongres aangeneem het, aan die state. Teen 15 Desember 1791 het driekwart van die state 10 hiervan bekragtig, nou bekend as die 'Handves van Regte'.

Die Federale Pilare, 1789

Die Massachusetts -kompromie, waarin die state ingestem het om die Grondwet te bekragtig, mits die Eerste Kongres die regte en ander wysigings wat hy voorgestel het, oorweeg, bekragtiging verseker en die weg baan vir die verloop van die Handves van Regte. Met vergunning van die Library of Congress

Federal Hall, Seat of Congress 1790, deur Amos Doolittle

Federal Hall, oorspronklik die stadsaal van New York, was die eerste hoofstad van die Verenigde State. Die Handves van Regte is daar ingevoer. Met vergunning van die Library of Congress Met vergunning van die Library of Congress

Senaat se hersienings van voorgestelde wysigings aan huis, 1789

Hierdie gedrukte dokument toon 17 wysigings wat die Huis goedgekeur het met die handgeskrewe hersienings deur die Senaat. Nasionale Argief


2d. Die Handves van Regte


Deur te werk om die Handves van Regte goedgekeur te kry, het James Madison sy steun aan Jefferson se beleid voortgesit. Jefferson ondersteun die Grondwet onder die voorwaarde dat basiese menseregte deur 'n reeks wysigings beskerm sal word.

Dit is te verstane dat alle mense wat 'n rewolusie oor "belasting sonder verteenwoordiging" beveg het, versigtig sou wees oor die nuwe Grondwet wat in 1787 geskep is. Die beroemde Virginian Patrick Henry het byvoorbeeld geweier om die Konvensie by te woon omdat hy 'n rot ruik '.

State het hul nuwe vryheid van Britse beheer gekoester, en die bekragtiging van die Grondwet deur staatswetgewers was geensins seker nie. Al dertien state het uiteindelik teen 1790 bekragtig, maar slegs met die byvoeging van tien wysigings, bekend as die Handves van Regte, wat die burger se regte en vryhede gewaarborg het.

Die debat oor bekragtiging

Die debat het die nuwe nasie gepolariseer. Diegene wat die Grondwet gesteun het, het bekend gestaan ​​as federaliste en diegene wat hulle bekragtig het, is antifederaliste genoem. Die federaliste het 'n sterk nasionale regering ondersteun om die orde te behou. Die antifederaliste het sterk staatsregerings bevoordeel en was van mening dat die nasionale regering wat deur die Grondwet geskep is, te sterk was.

In baie opsigte was die argument dieselfde ou debat oor die regte balans tussen orde en vryheid. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison en John Jay het oortuigende argumente ten gunste van bekragtiging geskryf in 'n reeks opstelle, bekend as die Federalist Papers. Daar was waarskynlik meer antifederaliste in Amerika, maar die federaliste was beter georganiseer, het meer koerante beheer en was in groter magsposisies. Die twee partye het uiteindelik 'n aanvaarbare kompromie bereik toe hulle ingestem het om 'n paar wysigings aan die Grondwet toe te voeg wat individuele vryhede en regte beskerm.

Die Handves van Regte


Die stuk perkament wat die Handves van Regte genoem word, is eintlik 'n gesamentlike resolusie van die Huis en die Senaat waarin twaalf wysigings aan die Grondwet voorgestel word. Die finale aantal aanvaarde wysigings was tien, en dit het bekend geword as die Handves van Regte.

In 1789 het Virginian James Madison twaalf wysigings aan die kongres voorgelê. Sy bedoeling was om die kritiek van die antifederaliste te beantwoord. Die state het almal behalwe twee bekragtig en een om die vergroting van die Huis van Verteenwoordigers te magtig en een om te keer dat lede van die Huis hul eie salaris verhoog totdat 'n verkiesing plaasgevind het. Die oorblywende tien wysigings, bekend as die Handves van Regte, is in 1791 bekragtig.

Hulle beperk die reg van die nasionale regering om spesifieke burgerlike vryhede en regte te beheer, waarvan baie reeds deur sommige van die staatsgrondwette beskerm is. Vryhede wat beskerm is, sluit in vryheid van spraak, pers, godsdiens en vergadering (eerste wysiging). Die Handves van Regte bied ook voorsorgmaatreëls vir diegene wat van misdade beskuldig word. Twee wysigings en die reg om wapens te dra (Tweede Amendement) en die reg om te weier dat soldate in u huis moet sit (Derde Amendement) en mdash was duidelik reaksies op die Britse bewind. Die antifederaliste was verheug oor die toevoeging van die tiende wysiging, wat verklaar dat alle magte wat nie uitdruklik aan die kongres verleen is nie, aan die state voorbehou is.


George Mason was een van die leidende figure in die opstel van die Handves van Regte. Nadat hy uit die Grondwetlike Konvensie gekom het omdat die Grondwet nie 'n verklaring van menseregte bevat nie, het hy gewerk om wysigings aan te bring wat burgers teen 'n indringende regering sou beskerm.

Deur die jare het die Handves van Regte 'n belangrike kern van Amerikaanse waardes geword. Die kompromie wat die Handves van Regte geskep het, het ook gedefinieer wat Amerikaners bo alles sou koester. Saam met die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring en die Grondwet help die Handves van Regte om die Amerikaanse politieke stelsel en die regering se verhouding met sy burgers te definieer.


Grondwetlike ontwikkeling in die DDR

Onmiddellik na die oorlog het beide die Ooste en die Weste gevoel dat die afsonderlike Duitse state tydelik was. Die uiteindelike doel van beide state was eenwording, maar namate die Ooste 'n nouer verhouding met die Sowjetunie gevorm het, het hereniging al hoe onwaarskynliker gelyk. Die spanning tussen Oos en die Weste het in die 1950's en 60's toegeneem, wat gelei het tot die bou van die Berlynse Muur, wat die twee state verdeel het. Die eerste DDR-grondwet, wat in 1949 aangeneem is, wou 'n Duitse grondwet wees en bevat baie gedeeltes soortgelyk aan die Weimar-grondwet van 1919. Dit is in 1968 en 1974 gewysig om beide die sosialistiese politieke organisasie van die Ooste en die geslote, onherroeplike verhouding met die Sowjetunie te beklemtoon. Omdat die dokument van 1949 bedoel was om 'n toekomstige, verenigde Duitsland te regeer, het dit 'n kompromie aangegaan tussen die liberaal-demokratiese en marxisties-leninistiese faksies. Alhoewel die Grondwet die DDR tot demokrasie verklaar het, is die regering beheer deur 'n lid van die kommunisties-beheerde Sosialistiese Eenheidsparty. Die staat het 'n enkelhuis-parlement (die Volkskammer) en twee uitvoerende organe (die Staatsraad en die Ministerraad) gehad. Die Grondwet het 'n onafhanklike regbank ingestel - 'n hooggeregshof en laer howe. Onder die onafhanklikheid van die regbank was die Volkskammer se gesag om regters na willekeur aan te stel en te verwyder. Teen die herfs van 1989 was dit duidelik dat die DDR se Grondwet nie voldoende kon voldoen aan die uitdagings wat die land in die gesig staar nie. Die Sowjetunie was besig om agteruit te gaan, net soos die ander Oosblok -state. 'N Konstitusionele opstelkomitee, die Tafelronde, is saamgestel om 'n nuwe demokratiese grondwet op te stel. Konstitusionele deskundiges van binne die land, sowel as westerse deskundiges, het die komitee aangeraai. Namate die komitee klein werkgroepe begin stig het, het dit egter al hoe duideliker geword dat die Duitse eenwording op hande was en dat eenwording die aanvaarding van die Wes -Duitse grondwet sou behels. Die verenigingsproses het uitgeloop op die Two Plus Four -verdrag op 12 September 1990, waaronder die Geallieerdes afstand gedoen het van enige regte ingevolge die instrument van oorgawe, en Duitsland die volle soewereiniteit herwin het. Op 3 Oktober 1990 het Duitsland amptelik herenig, en die vyf oostelike state het by die Bondsrepubliek Duitsland aangesluit.


Agt basiese feite oor die Handves van Regte

Baie van die regte en vryhede wat Amerikaners koester, soos vryheid van spraak, godsdiens en regsproses, is nie opgesom in die oorspronklike grondwet wat by die Philadelphia -konvensie in 1787 opgestel is nie, maar is opgeneem in die eerste tien wysigings, bekend as die Handves van Regte. Hoeveel weet jy van die Handves van Regte? Kyk na hierdie handige algemene vrae om alles daaroor te leer.

Wat is die Handves van Regte?

Die Handves van Regte is die eerste tien wysigings aan die Amerikaanse grondwet. Hierdie wysigings waarborg noodsaaklike regte en burgerlike vryhede, soos die reg op vrye spraak en die reg om wapens te dra, asook die voorbehoud van regte aan die mense en die state.

Die Handves van Regte het sy eie fassinerende verhaal as 'n duidelike historiese dokument, apart opgestel van die sewe artikels wat die liggaam van die Grondwet vorm. Maar sedert die eerste tien wysigings in 1791 bekragtig is, was die Handves van Regte ook 'n integrale deel van die Grondwet.

Hoeveel oorspronklike kopieë van die Handves van Regte bestaan ​​daar? Waar is hulle?

Die Kongres het 14 amptelike afskrifte van die Handves van Regte en mdashone vir die federale regering in opdrag gegee en een vir elk van die oorspronklike 13 state, wat president George Washington na die state gestuur het om dit te bekragtig.

Vandag is die meeste van hierdie oorspronklike eksemplare in die argiewe van hul onderskeie state. Die kopie van die federale regering word vertoon by die National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC, langs die oorspronklike, handgeskrewe afskrifte van die Amerikaanse grondwet en die onafhanklikheidsverklaring.

Vier state ontbreek hul afskrifte: Georgia, Maryland, New York en Pennsylvania. Dit is bekend dat twee ongeïdentifiseerde afskrifte oorleef het, een is in die Library of Congress en die ander in die versameling van The New York Public Library.

North Carolina & rsquos -afskrif van die Handves van Menseregte was byna 140 jaar lank vermis nadat dit tydens 'n burgeroorlog deur 'n vakbond -soldaat gesteel is. Die National Constitution Center het 'n sleutelrol gespeel in die herstel van die dokument in 2003, insluitend hulp in 'n FBI -steekoperasie.

Waarom is die handves van regte nie in die oorspronklike grondwet vervat nie?

Teen die einde van die Konstitusionele Konvensie in 1787 stel George Mason, 'n afgevaardigde van Virginia, voor om 'n handves van regte by te voeg, wat volgens hom 'n groot stilte aan die mense sou gee en dat dit binne 'n paar uur voorbereid sou wees. & Rdquo

Die staatsafvaardigings het die voorstel van Mason en rsquos eenparig verwerp. Sommige afgevaardigdes het geredeneer dat 'n federale handves van regte nie onnodig was nie, omdat die meeste staatsgrondwette reeds 'n vorm van gewaarborgde regte bevat, ander het gesê dat die uiteensetting van sekere regte sou impliseer dat dit die enigste regte was wat aan die mense voorbehou is. Historikus Richard Beeman, 'n voormalige kurator van die National Constitution Center, het egter 'n baie meer prosaïese rede uitgewys dat die afgevaardigdes so skepties was: hulle het vier moeisame maande van omstrede debat in 'n warm, bedompige kamer deurgebring en wou nie vermy nie enigiets wat die byeenkoms sou verleng. Hulle wou huis toe gaan, en daarom het hulle 'n pas geneem. 'N Handves van regte is van die hand gewys.

Die grondwet is op 17 September 1787 onderteken deur 39 afgevaardigdes in die Pennsylvania State House, nou bekend as Independence Hall, in Philadelphia. Drie afgevaardigdes was teenwoordig, maar het geweier om te teken, deels weens die afwesigheid van 'n handves: George Mason, Edmund Randolph en Elbridge Gerry.

Na die Konvensie het die afwesigheid van 'n handves van regte na vore gekom as 'n sentrale deel van die debat oor bekragtiging. Anti-federaliste, wat teen bekragtiging gekant was, beskou die afwesigheid daarvan as 'n noodlottige gebrek. Verskeie state het die Grondwet bekragtig op voorwaarde dat 'n handves van regte onmiddellik bygevoeg word, en baie het selfs voorstelle gegee oor wat hulle moet insluit.

Pauline Maier, skrywer van Ratifikasie: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787 & ndash1788, kennis geneem van hierdie voorstanders van 'n handves van regte:

Sonder hul vasberade opposisie sou die eerste tien wysigings nie later deel van die Grondwet geword het om 'n kragtige instrument vir die verdediging van Amerikaanse vryheid te word nie. & hellip Hulle voorbeeld kan hul grootste geskenk aan die nageslag wees. & rdquo

Wie het die Handves van Regte geskryf?

Nadat die Grondwet in 1788 bekragtig is, het James Madison, wat reeds gehelp het om 'n groot deel van die oorspronklike Grondwet op te stel, die taak aangeneem om 'n handves van regte op te stel. Madison het grootliks geput uit die Virginia -verklaring van regte, wat hoofsaaklik deur George Mason in 1776 geskryf is (twee maande voor die onafhanklikheidsverklaring), en hy het ook geput uit wysigings wat deur die state en rsquo -bekragtigingskonvensies voorgestel is.

Madison drafted 19 amendments, which he proposed to Congress on June 8, 1789. The House of Representatives narrowed those down to 17 then the Senate, with the approval of the House, narrowed them down to 12. These 12 were approved on September 25, 1789, and sent to the states for ratification.

When was the Bill of Rights ratified?

The 10 amendments that are now known as the Bill of Rights were ratified on December 15, 1791, and thus became part of the Constitution.

The first two amendments in the 12 that Congress proposed to the states were rejected: The first dealt with apportioning representation in the House of Representatives the second prevented members of Congress from voting to change their pay until the next session of Congress. This original &ldquoSecond Amendment&rdquo was finally added to the Constitution as the 27th Amendment, more than 200 years later.

Bill of Rights Day is observed on December 15 each year, as called for by a joint resolution of Congress that was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.

Where was the Bill of Rights written?

The Bill of Rights was drafted in New York City, where the federal government was operating out of Federal Hall in 1789. (The Declaration of Independence and the original, unamended Constitution were written and signed in Philadelphia.)

Why is the Bill of Rights so important?

The Bill of Rights represents the first step that &ldquoWe the People&rdquo took in amending the Constitution &ldquoin Order to form a more perfect Union.&rdquo The original, unamended Constitution was a remarkable achievement, establishing a revolutionary structure of government that put power in the hands of the people. The Bill of Rights built on that foundation, protecting our most cherished American freedoms, including freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and due process of law. For more than two centuries&mdashas we have exercised, restricted, expanded, tested, and debated those freedoms&mdashthe Bill of Rights has shaped and been shaped by what it means to be American.


The Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights

At the National Constitution Center, you will find rare copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These are the three most important documents in American history. But why are they important, and what are their similarities and differences? And how did each document, in turn, influence the next in America&rsquos ongoing quest for liberty and equality?

There are some clear similarities among the three documents. All have preambles. All were drafted by people of similar backgrounds, generally educated white men of property. The Declaration and Constitution were drafted by a congress and a convention that met in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia (now known as Independence Hall) in 1776 and 1787 respectively. The Bill of Rights was proposed by the Congress that met in Federal Hall in New York City in 1789. Thomas Jefferson was the principal drafter of the Declaration and James Madison of the Bill of Rights Madison, along with Gouverneur Morris and James Wilson, was also one of the principal architects of the Constitution.

Most importantly, the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are based on the idea that all people have certain fundamental rights that governments are created to protect. Those rights include common law rights, which come from British sources like the Magna Carta, or natural rights, which, the Founders believed, came from God. The Founders believed that natural rights are inherent in all people by virtue of their being human and that certain of these rights are unalienable, meaning they cannot be surrendered to government under any circumstances.

At the same time, the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are different kinds of documents with different purposes. The Declaration was designed to justify breaking away from a government the Constitution and Bill of Rights were designed to establish a government. The Declaration stands on its own&mdashit has never been amended&mdashwhile the Constitution has been amended 27 times. (The first ten amendments are called the Bill of Rights.) The Declaration and Bill of Rights set limitations on government the Constitution was designed both to create an energetic government and also to constrain it. The Declaration and Bill of Rights reflect a fear of an overly centralized government imposing its will on the people of the states the Constitution was designed to empower the central government to preserve the blessings of liberty for &ldquoWe the People of the United States.&rdquo In this sense, the Declaration and Bill of Rights, on the one hand, and the Constitution, on the other, are mirror images of each other.

Despite these similarities and differences, the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are, in many ways, fused together in the minds of Americans, because they represent what is best about America. They are symbols of the liberty that allows us to achieve success and of the equality that ensures that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. The Declaration of Independence made certain promises about which liberties were fundamental and inherent, but those liberties didn&rsquot become legally enforceable until they were enumerated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In other words, the fundamental freedoms of the American people were alluded to in the Declaration of Independence, implicit in the Constitution, and enumerated in the Bill of Rights. But it took the Civil War, which President Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address called &ldquoa new birth of freedom,&rdquo to vindicate the Declaration&rsquos famous promise that &ldquoall men are created equal.&rdquo And it took the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1868 after the Civil War, to vindicate James Madison&rsquos initial hope that not only the federal government but also the states would be constitutionally required to respect fundamental liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights&mdasha process that continues today.

Why did Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence?

When the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in 1775, it was far from clear that the delegates would pass a resolution to separate from Great Britain. To persuade them, someone needed to articulate why the Americans were breaking away. Congress formed a committee to do just that members included John Adams from Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin from Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman from Connecticut, Roger Livingston from New York, and Thomas Jefferson from Virginia, who at age 33 was one of the youngest delegates.

Although Jefferson disputed his account, John Adams later recalled that he had persuaded Jefferson to write the draft because Jefferson had the fewest enemies in Congress and was the best writer. (Jefferson would have gotten the job anyway&mdashhe was elected chair of the committee.) Jefferson had 17 days to produce the document and reportedly wrote a draft in a day or two. In a rented room not far from the State House, he wrote the Declaration with few books and pamphlets beside him, except for a copy of George Mason&rsquos Virginia Declaration of Rights and the draft Virginia Constitution, which Jefferson had written himself.

The Declaration of Independence has three parts. It has a preamble, which later became the most famous part of the document but at the time was largely ignored. It has a second part that lists the sins of the King of Great Britain, and it has a third part that declares independence from Britain and that all political connections between the British Crown and the &ldquoFree and Independent States&rdquo of America should be totally dissolved.

The preamble to the Declaration of Independence contains the entire theory of American government in a single, inspiring passage:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.&mdashThat to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,&mdashThat whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

When Jefferson wrote the preamble, it was largely an afterthought. Why is it so important today? It captured perfectly the essence of the ideals that would eventually define the United States. &ldquoWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,&rdquo Jefferson began, in one of the most famous sentences in the English language. How could Jefferson write this at a time that he and other Founders who signed the Declaration owned slaves? The document was an expression of an ideal. In his personal conduct, Jefferson violated it. But the ideal&mdash&ldquothat all men are created equal&rdquo&mdashcame to take on a life of its own and is now considered the most perfect embodiment of the American creed.

When Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address during the Civil War in November 1863, several months after the Union Army defeated Confederate forces at the Battle of Gettysburg, he took Jefferson&rsquos language and transformed it into constitutional poetry. &ldquoFour score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,&rdquo Lincoln declared. &ldquoFour score and seven years ago&rdquo refers to the year 1776, making clear that Lincoln was referring not to the Constitution but to Jefferson&rsquos Declaration. Lincoln believed that the &ldquoprinciples of Jefferson are the definitions and axioms of free society,&rdquo as he wrote shortly before the anniversary of Jefferson&rsquos birthday in 1859. Three years later, on the anniversary of George Washington&rsquos birthday in 1861, Lincoln said in a speech at what by that time was being called &ldquoIndependence Hall,&rdquo &ldquoI would rather be assassinated on this spot than to surrender&rdquo the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

It took the Civil War, the bloodiest war in American history, for Lincoln to begin to make Jefferson&rsquos vision of equality a constitutional reality. After the war, the Declaration&rsquos vision was embodied in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, which formally ended slavery, guaranteed all persons the &ldquoequal protection of the laws,&rdquo and gave African-American men the right to vote. At the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, when supporters of gaining greater rights for women met, they, too, used the Declaration of Independence as a guide for drafting their Declaration of Sentiments. (Their efforts to achieve equal suffrage culminated in 1920 in the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.) And during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his famous address at the Lincoln Memorial, &ldquoWhen the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men&mdashyes, black men as well as white men&mdashwould be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.&rdquo

In addition to its promise of equality, Jefferson&rsquos preamble is also a promise of liberty. Like the other Founders, he was steeped in the political philosophy of the Enlightenment, in philosophers such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, Francis Hutcheson, and Montesquieu. All of them believed that people have certain unalienable and inherent rights that come from God, not government, or come simply from being human. They also believed that when people form governments, they give those governments control over certain natural rights to ensure the safety and security of other rights. Jefferson, George Mason, and the other Founders frequently spoke of the same set of rights as being natural and unalienable. They included the right to worship God &ldquoaccording to the dictates of conscience,&rdquo the right of &ldquoenjoyment of life and liberty,&rdquo &ldquothe means of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety,&rdquo and, most important of all, the right of a majority of the people to &ldquoalter and abolish&rdquo their government whenever it threatened to invade natural rights rather than protect them.

In other words, when Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and began to articulate some of the rights that were ultimately enumerated in the Bill of Rights, he wasn&rsquot inventing these rights out of thin air. On the contrary, 10 American colonies between 1606 and 1701 were granted charters that included representative assemblies and promised the colonists the basic rights of Englishmen, including a version of the promise in the Magna Carta that no freeman could be imprisoned or destroyed &ldquoexcept by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.&rdquo This legacy kindled the colonists&rsquo hatred of arbitrary authority, which allowed the King to seize their bodies or property on his own say-so. In the revolutionary period, the galvanizing examples of government overreaching were the &ldquogeneral warrants&rdquo and &ldquowrits of assistance&rdquo that authorized the King&rsquos agents to break into the homes of scores of innocent citizens in an indiscriminate search for the anonymous authors of pamphlets criticizing the King. Writs of assistance, for example, authorized customs officers &ldquoto break open doors, Chests, Trunks, and other Packages&rdquo in a search for stolen goods, without specifying either the goods to be seized or the houses to be searched. In a famous attack on the constitutionality of writs of assistance in 1761, prominent lawyer James Otis said, &ldquoIt is a power that places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.&rdquo

As members of the Continental Congress contemplated independence in May and June of 1776, many colonies were dissolving their charters with England. As the actual vote on independence approached, a few colonies were issuing their own declarations of independence and bills of rights. The Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776, written by George Mason, began by declaring that &ldquoall men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.&rdquo

When Jefferson wrote his famous preamble, he was restating, in more eloquent language, the philosophy of natural rights expressed in the Virginia Declaration that the Founders embraced. And when Jefferson said, in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, that &ldquo[w]hen in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,&rdquo he was recognizing the right of revolution that, the Founders believed, had to be exercised whenever a tyrannical government threatened natural rights. That&rsquos what Jefferson meant when he said Americans had to assume &ldquothe separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature&rsquos God entitle them.&rdquo

The Declaration of Independence was a propaganda document rather than a legal one. It didn&rsquot give any rights to anyone. It was an advertisement about why the colonists were breaking away from England. Although there was no legal reason to sign the Declaration, Jefferson and the other Founders signed it because they wanted to &ldquomutually pledge&rdquo to each other that they were bound to support it with &ldquoour Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.&rdquo Their signatures were courageous because the signers realized they were committing treason: according to legend, after affixing his flamboyantly large signature John Hancock said that King George&mdashor the British ministry&mdashwould be able to read his name without spectacles. But the courage of the signers shouldn&rsquot be overstated: the names of the signers of the Declaration weren&rsquot published until after General George Washington won crucial battles at Trenton and Princeton and it was clear that the war for independence was going well.

What is the relationship between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?

In the years between 1776 and 1787, most of the 13 states drafted constitutions that contained a declaration of rights within the body of the document or as a separate provision at the beginning, many of them listing the same natural rights that Jefferson had embraced in the Declaration. When it came time to form a central government in 1776, the Continental Congress began to create a weak union governed by the Articles of Confederation. (The Articles of Confederation was sent to the states for ratification in 1777 it was formally adopted in 1781.) The goal was to avoid a powerful federal government with the ability to invade rights and to threaten private property, as the King&rsquos agents had done with the hated general warrants and writs of assistance. But the Articles of Confederation proved too weak for bringing together a fledgling nation that needed both to wage war and to manage the economy. Supporters of a stronger central government, like James Madison, lamented the inability of the government under the Articles to curb the excesses of economic populism that were afflicting the states, such as Shays&rsquo Rebellion in Massachusetts, where farmers shut down the courts demanding debt relief. As a result, Madison and others gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 with the goal of creating a stronger, but still limited, federal government.

The Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania State House, in the room where the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Jefferson, who was in France at the time, wasn&rsquot among them. After four months of debate, the delegates produced a constitution.

During the final days of debate, delegates George Mason and Elbridge Gerry objected that the Constitution, too, should include a bill of rights to protect the fundamental liberties of the people against the newly empowered president and Congress. Their motion was swiftly&mdashand unanimously&mdashdefeated a debate over what rights to include could go on for weeks, and the delegates were tired and wanted to go home. The Constitution was approved by the Constitutional Convention and sent to the states for ratification without a bill of rights.

During the ratification process, which took around 10 months (the Constitution took effect when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify in late June 1788 the 13th state, Rhode Island, would not join the union until May 1790), many state ratifying conventions proposed amendments specifying the rights that Jefferson had recognized in the Declaration and that they protected in their own state constitutions. James Madison and other supporters of the Constitution initially resisted the need for a bill of rights as either unnecessary (because the federal government was granted no power to abridge individual liberty) or dangerous (since it implied that the federal government had the power to infringe liberty in the first place). In the face of a groundswell of popular demand for a bill of rights, Madison changed his mind and introduced a bill of rights in Congress on June 8, 1789.

Madison was least concerned by &ldquoabuse in the executive department,&rdquo which he predicted would be the weakest branch of government. He was more worried about abuse by Congress, because he viewed the legislative branch as &ldquothe most powerful, and most likely to be abused, because it is under the least control.&rdquo (He was especially worried that Congress might enforce tax laws by issuing general warrants to break into people&rsquos houses.) But in his view &ldquothe great danger lies rather in the abuse of the community than in the legislative body&rdquo&mdashin other words, local majorities who would take over state governments and threaten the fundamental rights of minorities, including creditors and property holders. For this reason, the proposed amendment that Madison considered &ldquothe most valuable amendment in the whole list&rdquo would have prohibited the state governments from abridging freedom of conscience, speech, and the press, as well as trial by jury in criminal cases. Madison&rsquos favorite amendment was eliminated by the Senate and not resurrected until after the Civil War, when the 14th Amendment required state governments to respect basic civil and economic liberties.

In the end, by pulling from the amendments proposed by state ratifying conventions and Mason&rsquos Virginia Declaration of Rights, Madison proposed 19 amendments to the Constitution. Congress approved 12 amendments to be sent to the states for ratification. Only 10 of the amendments were ultimately ratified in 1791 and became the Bill of Rights. The first of the two amendments that failed was intended to guarantee small congressional districts to ensure that representatives remained close to the people. The other would have prohibited senators and representatives from giving themselves a pay raise unless it went into effect at the start of the next Congress. (This latter amendment was finally ratified in 1992 and became the 27th Amendment.)

To address the concern that the federal government might claim that rights not listed in the Bill of Rights were not protected, Madison included what became the Ninth Amendment, which says the &ldquoenumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.&rdquo To ensure that Congress would be viewed as a government of limited rather than unlimited powers, he included the 10th Amendment, which says the &ldquopowers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.&rdquo Because of the first Congress&rsquos focus on protecting people from the kinds of threats to liberty they had experienced at the hands of King George, the rights listed in the first eight amendments of the Bill of Rights apply only to the federal government, not to the states or to private companies. (One of the amendments submitted by the North Carolina ratifying convention but not included by Madison in his proposal to Congress would have prohibited Congress from establishing monopolies or companies with &ldquoexclusive advantages of commerce.&rdquo)

But the protections in the Bill of Rights&mdashforbidding Congress from abridging free speech, for example, or conducting unreasonable searches and seizures&mdashwere largely ignored by the courts for the first 100 years after the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. Like the preamble to the Declaration, the Bill of Rights was largely a promissory note. It wasn&rsquot until the 20th century, when the Supreme Court began vigorously to apply the Bill of Rights against the states, that the document became the centerpiece of contemporary struggles over liberty and equality. The Bill of Rights became a document that defends not only majorities of the people against an overreaching federal government but also minorities against overreaching state governments. Today, there are debates over whether the federal government has become too powerful in threatening fundamental liberties. There are also debates about how to protect the least powerful in society against the tyranny of local majorities.

What do we know about the documentary history of the rare copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights on display at the National Constitution Center?

Generally, when people think about the original Declaration, they are referring to the official engrossed &mdashor final&mdashcopy now in the National Archives. That is the one that John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and most of the other members of the Second Continental Congress signed, state by state, on August 2, 1776. John Dunlap, a Philadelphia printer, published the official printing of the Declaration ordered by Congress, known as the Dunlap Broadside, on the night of July 4th and the morning of July 5th. About 200 copies are believed to have been printed. At least 27 are known to survive.

The document on display at the National Constitution Center is known as a Stone Engraving, after the engraver William J. Stone, whom then Secretary of State John Quincy Adams commissioned in 1820 to create a precise facsimile of the original engrossed version of the Declaration. That manuscript had become faded and worn after nearly 45 years of travel with Congress between Philadelphia, New York City, and eventually Washington, D.C., among other places, including Leesburg, Virginia, where it was rolled up and hidden during the British invasion of the capital in 1814.

To ensure that future generations would have a clear image of the original Declaration, William Stone made copies of the document before it faded away entirely. Historians dispute how Stone rendered the facsimiles. He kept the original Declaration in his shop for up to three years and may have used a process that involved taking a wet cloth, putting it on the original document, and creating a perfect copy by taking off half the ink. He would have then put the ink on a copper plate to do the etching (though he might have, instead, traced the entire document by hand without making a press copy). Stone used the copper plate to print 200 first edition engravings as well as one copy for himself in 1823, selling the plate and the engravings to the State Department. John Quincy Adams sent copies to each of the living signers of the Declaration (there were three at the time), public officials like President James Monroe, Congress, other executive departments, governors and state legislatures, and official repositories such as universities. The Stone engravings give us the clearest idea of what the original engrossed Declaration looked like on the day it was signed.

The Constitution, too, has an original engrossed, handwritten version as well as a printing of the final document. John Dunlap, who also served as the official printer of the Declaration, and his partner David C. Claypoole, who worked with him to publish the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser , America&rsquos first successful daily newspaper founded by Dunlap in 1771, secretly printed copies of the convention&rsquos committee reports for the delegates to review, debate, and make changes. At the end of the day on September 15, 1787, after all of the delegations present had approved the Constitution, the convention ordered it engrossed on parchment. Jacob Shallus, assistant clerk to the Pennsylvania legislature, spent the rest of the weekend preparing the engrossed copy (now in the National Archives), while Dunlap and Claypoole were ordered to print 500 copies of the final text for distribution to the delegates, Congress, and the states. The engrossed copy was signed on Monday, September 17th, which is now celebrated as Constitution Day.

The copy of the Constitution on display at the National Constitution Center was published in Dunlap and Claypoole&rsquos Pennsylvania Packet newspaper on September 19, 1787. Because it was the first public printing of the document&mdashthe first time Americans saw the Constitution&mdashscholars consider its constitutional significance to be especially profound. The publication of the Constitution in the Pennsylvania Packet was the first opportunity for &ldquoWe the People of the United States&rdquo to read the Constitution that had been drafted and would later be ratified in their name.

The handwritten Constitution inspires awe, but the first public printing reminds us that it was only the ratification of the document by &ldquoWe the People&rdquo that made the Constitution the supreme law of the land. As James Madison emphasized in The Federalist No. 40 in 1788, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention had &ldquoproposed a Constitution which is to be of no more consequence than the paper on which it is written, unless it be stamped with the approbation of those to whom it is addressed.&rdquo Only 25 copies of the Pennsylvania Packet Constitution are known to have survived.

Finally, there is the Bill of Rights. On October 2, 1789, Congress sent 12 proposed amendments to the Constitution to the states for ratification&mdashincluding the 10 that would come to be known as the Bill of Rights. There were 14 original manuscript copies, including the one displayed at the National Constitution Center&mdashone for the federal government and one for each of the 13 states.

Twelve of the 14 copies are known to have survived. Two copies &mdashthose of the federal government and Delaware &mdash are in the National Archives. Eight states currently have their original documents Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania do not. There are two existing unidentified copies, one held by the Library of Congress and one held by The New York Public Library. The copy on display at the National Constitution Center is from the collections of The New York Public Library and will be on display for several years through an agreement between the Library and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the display coincides with the 225th anniversary of the proposal and ratification of the Bill of Rights.

The Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are the three most important documents in American history because they express the ideals that define &ldquoWe the People of the United States&rdquo and inspire free people around the world.


The Bill of Rights - Drafting, Constitutional Convention and Amendments - HISTORY

Bill of Rights Day, December 15

The National Archives and Records Administration joins in the national celebration of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, which spell out our rights as Americans. It guarantees civil rights and liberties such as freedom of speech, press, and religion. It sets rules for due process of law and reserves all powers not delegated to the Federal Government to the people or the states. The original joint resolution proposing the Bill of Rights is on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Preamble to the Bill of Rights

Video Resources

Historical Video

The video at this link shows the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence loaded in an armored truck at the Library of Congress, taken to the National Archives Building in a procession, and carried up the building's steps on December 13, 1952. Two days later, on Bill of Rights Day, President Harry Truman and Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson speak on the importance of the document in a ceremony at the National Archives.

Amending America Exhibit

Take a virtual tour of our Amending America exhibit, which highlights the remarkably American story of how we have amended, or attempted to amend, the Constitution in order to form a nation that more closely mirrors our ideals

Amending America: How Do We Amend?

This animated short, made for the Amending America exhibit, describes how an amendment can be proposed and ratified. It also illustrates how our Founders included Article V to make it possible to amend our Constitution

Why the Bill of Rights?

A panel discusses the story behind the Bill of Rights, the ratification of the Constitution, and the First Federal Congress. Panelists include Joseph Ellis, Jack Takeover, and Kenneth Bowling.

The Charters of Freedom

On Bill of Rights Day in 1952 the Charters of Freedom—the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights went on display together for the first time.

The Bill of Rights and the First Federal Congress​

In this video, Charlene Bickford, Director of the First Federal Congress Project, discusses the NHPRC-funded project and the anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights by the First Federal Congress.


How James Madison Saved The Constitution This Month By Writing The Bill Of Rights

Our cherished Bill of Rights, which turned 225 years old this month, is one of the great oddities of American constitutional history. What began as a mere afterthought to the Constitution ended up saving the Constitution from its Anti-Federalist critics, and today looms larger in the American mind than the Constitution itself.

Until the twentieth century, the Supreme Court rarely invoked it. Its rise to prominence since then is largely due to a series of landmark cases in which it was applied, contrary to the intent of its framers, to the state governments. In a curious twist of history, a bill of rights designed to placate Anti-Federalist opposition to the Constitution in the states has become one of the great checks on state power. It’s quite a story.

Were it not for James Madison, who opposed the Bill of Rights before supporting it, we would probably have neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights. By rechanneling public opposition to the Constitution into acceptance for a Bill of Rights, he staved off the Anti-Federalist attempts to rewrite the Constitution. Madison is therefore rightly viewed as both the father of Constitution and the father of the Bill of Rights.


Drafting of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights

There are a range of resources available for researching the drafting of the Constitution. Some attempt to gather documents and/or citations from across the board--Convention, post-Convention, and private papers. Two such resources are listed below under "Comprehensive Resources." Some resources relate to a particular aspect of the drafting, and are listed on the guide's subpages.

To provide additional background, selected terms in this guide are linked to entries in Leonard W. Levy and Kenneth L. Karst's Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. For a discussion about the reliability of the drafting records, see James H. Hutson, The Creation of the Constitution, 65 Tex. L. Rev. 1 (1986).

Comprehensive Resources:

  • ConSource, the Constitutional Sources Project
    • Collection of full-text documents, often with original image, from non profit
      and Print: KF 4502 F68 2000
  • Citations/excerpts organized by section of the Constitution and Bill of Rights
  • More specific resources: See the subpage of the guide that interests you for further information: the Convention itself, the ratification process (including the Federalist essays), the Bill of Rights, and the founders' private papers. The Reference and Introductory Works subpage contains materials that help throughout a research project as well as providing historical context.