Introduction to the Bill of Rights

Last Updated on June 16, 2020 by Ann Smarty

In 1776, a group of American colonists gathered to sign the Declaration of Independence. The document was written by Thomas Jefferson with the goal of announcing the colonies independence from Britain. After being under British rule and being subjected to laws, taxes and other ways to keep the colonists under control, the colonists were looking to gain their independence.

This led to the American Revolutionary War, where battles were fought in the colonies. Through a series of battles the revolutionary forces of the colonists were able fight off the British troops and the British and American sides agreed to a peace agreement that was signed in 1783.

With the newfound freedom from Britain, the newly created country needed to organize itself and create a framework of a government. The United States Constitution was created in 1787 and was approved in 1788. The Constitution presented how the government should be organized with three separate governing bodies (executive, judicial and legislative branches). They would be equal and have the duty of providing a system of checks and balances, so that no one branch would have more power than the others.

While the Constitution gave us the framework how our government works, it also needed to provide protections for the citizens of the United States. Having been under British rule had been difficult for the colonists, and they did not have rights and freedoms that they wanted.

The Constitution was ratified after a long debate, and one of the points of concern was lack of protections for citizens. Led by James Madison, a series of articles were drafted that addressed these concerns. These articles were approved in 1791 as amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The ten amendments have since become known as the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights were written to guarantee the freedoms that the colonists fought for against Britain. These freedoms include freedom of speech, freedom of expression, the right to bare arms, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, right to a speedy trial and more. The Bill of Rights have become the cornerstone of the freedoms that Americans enjoy today.

We believe that everyone should be familiar with the Bill of Rights. So, here is some background information on the creation and ratification of the Bill of Rights, along with information on the amendments.