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The Bill Of Rights Essay

1663 words - 7 pages

The Bill of Rights, or the first ten amendments of the constitution, were designed to protect individuals’ rights and liberties from the central government, when the United States’ Constitution was being written and put in place. Led by Patrick Henry, Antifederalists were against the idea of changing to a constitution, but were the main supporters of the Bill of Rights. Their opposition, led by James Madison, however felt this Bill of Rights was unnecessary for the national government to do. Politics back then was quite similar to today, at least in the sense of what was being supported, one party was considered to support the common man, while the other supported the rich, but also one ...view middle of the document...

For the most part the Antifederalist wanted to keep the Articles of the Confederate, because they believed that the Constitution would make the country become a world tyrant like England was, and that the states should control the majority of the power. The opposition, the Federalists however felt the articles were weak and ineffective, which some people say Shay’s Rebellion helped to prove, because there was no standing army, which was something the Antifederalists objected to having as well. Their fears however, were not the thing the Federalists were striving to achieve. They felt a strong central government was necessary for the newly forming United States of America. This was because the country needed strengthening in foreign policy, as well as control of homeland from things including uncooperative states.
It seemed for the most part Federalists were elitists and felt the government should be run by experienced and talented people, and it should not be a mobocracy, or ruled by the masses. The Antifederalists opposed them for that, and felt that the Constitution was written by aristocrats, and also accused them of using the Constitution to help the rich. They even suspected that it was a sinister plot by the Federalist Party. They felt this made common peoples’ rights were becoming threatened, as well as the states’ power. The Federalists however, felt that the national government would indeed protect people civil rights and liberties, but also that states had bills similar so there was no need, but the Antifederalists argued back that national government was superior and could over power those bills. Federalists disagreed with that, as they felt states could take powers away from the central government. Also, Federalists felt that sympathetic toward separating church and state, although Antifederalists were completely secular in their ideas.
Compromise is the key for successful politics in all countries, and here there was no difference. This compromise became known as the Great Compromise, as well as the Massachusetts Compromise. Pretty much the entire population saw a need for change, due to ineffectiveness and flaws from the Articles of the Confederate, although the new Constitution had many flaws still as well, however it helped strengthen the weak Congress under the Articles of the Confederate. Eventually, the Antifederalists agreed to the Constitution, as long as there was a Bill of Rights. This was due to the fact that there was a lack of enumerated individual rights in the Constitution, however the Federalists felt if there were enumerated ones, then the non-enumerated would be broken. In 1789, Madison introduced twelve amendments to the constitution, ten of these would later become the Bill of Rights (Whitehouse.gov).
The Bill of Rights protects peoples’ civil rights, and liberties. The First Amendment, did so by limiting Congress, it is known to give the “Freedom of Speech”, and the “Freedom of Religion”. This amendment...

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