Today we celebrate the Bill of Rights, an addition to the Constitution that was ratified on March 4th, 1789 with the promise that the Bill of Rights would be added at a later date. Our Founders did not want a government that had no concern for it’s citizens, as was the norm across Europe.
James Madison proposed 19 amendments to the Constitution that gave the public rights not found in other countries at the time. 12 of those 19 were considered. the first 2 were not accepted, concerning the number or representatives and the pay for those representatives. 10, however, were voted on and accepted, making them a part of the United States government.
The process started on September 25, 1789 and added on December 15th, 1789. The first was the freedom of speech, the press and religion. Second came the right to bear arms. Protection of homeowners from quartering troops, unless during war and unreasonable search and seizure became the 3rd and 4th. The 5th is the promise of the process of law and protection against double jeopardy and self-incrimination.
6th was the right to a speedy trial by peers and the rights of the accused. A trial by jury in civil cases, the protection from cruel and unusual punishment with no excessive bail. The protection of rights not specified in the Bill of Rights and that the states maintained their rights over the Central Government followed.
We may take these rights for granted today but they were totally new and untried before the forming of the government of the United States. I sometimes wonder at the brillance of our Founding Fathers. The Bill of rights has had numerous amendments since 1789 but the fact that they provided for such changes is amazing.
How to celebrate – Enjoy your rights and protect them. Study the United States foundations. Read about the additional amendments that have been added.