The Bill of Rights: the Story Behind the Amendments

On This Site

American History Glossary
The 13 American Colonies
The Declaration of Independence
The Revolutionary War
The Articles of Confederation
The Making of the Constitution
Colonial Times
The Constitution Links

Share This Page

Follow This Site

Follow SocStudies4Kids on Twitter

Part 1: The Need for Amendments

The Constitution as approved by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention is full of powers granted to the federal government. These powers are further broken up into a separation of powers, making the powers shared by the three branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.

Yet nowhere in the Constitution is a list of things the government cannot do.

The American people were deeply concerned about their rights under the new government. Even if this new government looked to be a great improvement over the monarchy that the people had just overthrown, the blueprint of the new government didn't guarantee its people such natural rights as freedom of religion and freedom of speech. (Many colony governments had.)

And yet, here was the Constitution, waiting to be signed and approved by enough delegates and enough states to declare it law. Protection of natural rights wasn't really in the Constitution, so the delegates had to invent a place to put them.

They came up with the Bill of Rights.

Next page > The First Amendment > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

Search This Site

Custom Search


Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2024
David White