Bill of Rights Why they are the most important rights

Essay by dlindleyUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, June 2005

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The U.S Bill of Rights has served as a balance to keep a Central government from becoming corrupt and ruling over its people unjustly. Our forefathers did a great job when contemplating what needed to be addressed to keep the balance of power over this centralized government. They truly knew that history does repeat itself. This balance of power was designed to keep the government working for the people and not for the self interest of a few.

The most important rights protected by the U.S. Bill of Rights are contained in the 1st Amendment. It provides that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise, or abridging freedom of speech or press or the right to assemble and petition for redress of grievances. These rights are the core rights protected by the system of ordered liberty established by the Bill of Rights.

The 2d and 3d amendments reflect the colonists' hostility toward standing armies; they guarantee the people's right to bear arms and limit the quartering of soldiers in private homes.

The 4th Amendment is aimed at the abuses the colonists had suffered from writs of assistance and general warrants; it secures the people against unreasonable searches and seizures and requires warrants to be specific and issued only upon probable cause.

The 5th Amendment requires grand jury indictments in major criminal prosecutions and prohibits trying a person twice on the same charge or requiring that person to testify against himself or herself; it forbids taking of private property for public use without just compensation and forbids deprivation of life, liberty, and property without due process of law. The due process concept was a major step forward; since then, due process has served as the principal constitutional tool for the protection of...