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His 301 - the Bill of Rights Amendment Paper

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Bill of Rights and Amendment Paper

University of Phoenix

HIS/301 The United States Constitution

Bill of Rights and Amendment Paper


Throughout history, the United of States experiences several of events. These events made an impact on our nation, which left a mark. The impact of the events led to the changes of the constitution, which are referred to as amendments. The original ten amendments made to the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights, these were created by our forefathers. People and the government are constantly making changes, which could affect their lives as well as others. Therefore, there were many effects because the Bill of Rights. This essay will further discuss the problems with the original document, the changes in society, which led to later amendments, and the effect of those amendments.

How and why the amendments become part of the Constitution

In order to adjust to society constantly changing, there are changes made to the constitution. It is mention within an article that changes could be made to the constitution. Making changes involves proposing an amendment following ratification, through this process the amendment become part of the constitution. After the amendment is ratified by three-fourths of the states, which are 38 out of 50, the proposed a amendment then becomes a part of the Constitution.

What problems with the original document motivated the adoption of the Bill of Rights?

The Articles of the Confederation was at best an emergency constitution, better suited to war than peacetime. However, the articles afforded a transition, letting the thirteen states dip their toes into new nationhood with little more than vague promises to help each other if needed. There was no executive branch to enforce laws and no taxing authority. Most of the new country's problems arose because of conflicts among the states. Most of the conflicts were over trade and commerce. One of the big problems with the Articles of Confederation was the requirement that all thirteen states had to approve any major laws. It seemed that at least one state was always willing to cast a veto. It became clear that the states needed to do business with each other to prosper, but their conflicting rules got in the way. So in true American fashion, they agreed to change the rules. A conference was called at Annapolis, Maryland, in 1786, and the states agreed to a proposal by Alexander Hamilton for a convention in Philadelphia the following year to revise the Articles of Confederation. The delegates were originally only supposed to amend the Articles of Confederation, primarily to grease the wheels of interstate commerce. However, the representatives quickly agreed to scrap the Articles of Confederation and start over with a constitution that would set the course for the new nation.

What problems with the original document, or changes in society, led to later amendments

The change in society that led to the 13th through 15th Amendments was the Civil War. Because of the Civil War, the people of the North felt that it was necessary to pass these amendments, which are collectively known as the "Civil War Amendments." At the time the Constitution was written, slavery formed the basis of the Southern economy and had to be accommodated in order to get the South to ratify the document. The differences between the slave South and the free North eventually led to the Civil War. After that war, the North did not want the South to go back to having the "peculiar institution" that had been the cause of the sectional animosity. Because of this, the North felt it was important to amend the Constitution to end slavery and to give freed blacks rights that were at least officially equal to those of whites.

The Thirteenth Amendment: abolishing slavery.

The Fourteenth Amendment: due process and equal protection.

The Fifteenth Amendment; voting rights.

These three amendments that combine to form a constitutional protection for civil rights were ratified in the years following the Civil War and are known as the Reconstruction Amendments.

The thirteenth amendment formalized President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, making slavery illegal as part of the law of the land. The fourteenth amendment aimed to make sure that every citizen is treated the same under the law, no matter what race or economic standing, and has turned out to be one of the most far-reaching parts of the Constitution for protecting the individual regardless of race or creed. The fifteenth amendment not only guaranteed the right to vote, but banned authorities from putting up obstacles such as registration requirements that might be discriminatory against minorities and the poor or uneducated.

The Thirteenth Amendment: Abolishing Slavery

Massachusetts in 1641 became the first of the American colonies to legalize slavery. By July 4, 1776, slavery was legal in all 13 original states. In one of the most infamous decisions, the Supreme Court in 1857 held that slavery was legal. The Dred Scott decision, formally Scott v, Sanford, came in the case of a lifelong slave claiming his freedom. Historically and legally, if a runaway slave could make it to a free state or territory, he or she was free. Dred Scott argued that since his owner had taken him



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