The Origins and Anniversary of our Bill of Rights

BillOfRightsContrary to what some seem to think or believe today, the Bill of Rights is not a Bill of Needs.

On September 17, 1787 our Founding Fathers created the Constitution of the United States.  It then had to go through a ratification, or approval, process in each state.  Nine states were required to approve the document for it to become official for the country.  In the end, all of them did.

However, there was a slight problem.

The Constitution, as written, laid out the foundations for the federal government fairly well but there were no guarantees, nor even a mention, of state or individual rights, that for which they all fought during the American Revolution.

In contrast, the previous semi-governing document, the Articles of Confederation (the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union), which was ratified on March 1, 1781, at least contained language to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states.

anti-federalistsLed by people such as Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and George Mason, the Anti-Federalists (as they came to be know) believed that the Constitution needed a Bill of Rights; that it created a presidency so powerful it might be turned into a tyrannical monarchy; that the document did not do enough with the courts with the result being an out-of-control judiciary; and, that the federal government would be unresponsive to the needs of the states and the people.

A war of words ensued.

The Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, wished to leave the Constitution alone.  They did not feel that any type of Bill of Rights was needed.

Madison wrote, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Federalist-PapersHowever, they were not spelled out nor guaranteed in any way, thus leaving open the possibility for their encroachment.

Written guarantees won out.  On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified.

What exactly was the purpose of these 10 amendments?

The Bill of Rights added specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights.

It does NOT grant us those rights.

It guarantees them.

If you recall, from the Declaration of Independence, our Founders believed in our unalienable rights, not man- or government-granted, but given to us by our Creator.

“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.”

The Bill of Rights also defined, more clearly, limitations on government power in judicial and other proceedings. And, one other huge point, that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress are reserved for the states or the people.

Today, let us thank our Founding Fathers for the foresight and wisdom they had in providing these documents but also pray that those elected representatives who took an Oath to support and defend the Constitution start doing so.  In all areas and at all times.  Not just when it is convenient for their political agenda.

But, also keep in mind that we have lost some rights.  Some have been, otherwise limited.

JeffersonIt is up to each and every one of us to demand that our elected representatives are reminded of this truth, as written by Thomas Jefferson:
“Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us.”

Ensure that you and your family know your rights.  Only then can you protect them.

There are many paths to educate yourself and your family. Learn the basics by watching the award-winning In Search of Liberty Constitution movie, and then, for in-depth study, enroll in a Constitution Boot Camp from Building Blocks for Liberty or join KrisAnne Hall’s Liberty First University.

Staying true to our US Constitution we can safeguard freedom in America for ourselves and our posterity.

We the People - Scott D Welch

 

by Scott D. Welch, Patriot
Direct descendant of 8 Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War
Cousin of Patrick Henry

Click for a printable copy of the Bill of Rights.

Betsy Ross - G Washington - God Bless

 

Lest We All Forget – The Bill of Rights

For some, perhaps many, the Bill of Rights is taken for granted.

The original U.S. Constitution was hotly contested by several of our Founding Fathers, fearing too much power was granted to the newly formed “federal government.”

Following the Philadelphia Convention, various statesmen, Patrick Henry among them, argued very publicly against the Constitution.

Several were concerned that the government proposed by the Federalists was too strong and a very real threat to individual rights and, in fact, believed that the President could become a king.

Let us not forget that for which patriots fought to ensure rights for each citizen:

1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

2nd Amendment-A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

3rd Amendment-No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

4th Amendment-The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

5th Amendment-No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

6th Amendment-In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

7th Amendment-In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

8th Amendment-Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

9th Amendment-The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

10th Amendment-The powers 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.

Over For Now.

Main Street One