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Individual Rights And Public Order Essay

1646 words - 7 pages

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Running Head: INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND PUBLIC ORDERIndividual Rights and Public OrderBenjamin CesulkaUniversity Of TexasIndividual Rights and Public OrderIndividual rights are those rights we have that allow us to exercise our freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, originally drafted in 1789 by James Madison, came into effect in 1791 (Wikipedia 2007). The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not construe to deny or disparage others retained by the people. These rights became the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution. These rights have been the cornerstone of American Law then and still are today without these rights, this country would not have become the democracy it is today, and a land where individuals would be subject to a stricter, more dictatorial government.Individual rights are those rights that allow us to live our day-to-day lives without fear of government intervention, unless of course we break the law or violate one of these rights. Among them are freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, protecting citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment, and self-incrimination. Imagining our lives today without these rights is impossible. As America expands its role around the globe, we see that other countries do not share our belief in individual rights. We see how lucky we are to afford such rights and freedoms. In fact, many countries have rulers who are still keeping their citizens oppressed and underprivileged. They believe that this action keeps their citizens in line because they do not have the individual right to protest or speak out. Knowing the harm that is incurred by this, I am reminded of a quote from John Adams.John Adams said, "When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist, but it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more" (1818). He was not far off. Our Constitution has incurred many changes over the last 200 years. Because our society demanded the changes, our government had to add more individual rights to the Constitution. Some of those rights are the Thirteenth Amendment of 1868 which abolished slavery, The Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 which allows all men regardless of color the right to vote, and the Nineteenth Amendment of 1920 which gave women the right to vote (2007). These are only three examples of the fifteen amendments to the Constitution added since the constitution ratified in September of 1791. Because individual rights have become so important to the citizenry of this country, we have demanded that our government add to and protect those rights. But, what if these rights did not exist?Unbelievably there was opposition to the original Bill of Rights. Alexander Hamilton, a Federalist, argued that the Bill of Rights would only allow for the protection...

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