bill of rights

U. S. Constitution and Your Rights

Founding fathers George Mason, Thomas Paine, and Patrick Henry argued that a set of rights for citizens should be clearly written in the U.S. Constitution of 1789. They were disappointed when that did not happen. After the U.S. Constitution was adopted, many Americans felt it was important to protect the individual citizen's rights.

When the first Congress met in 1789, they debated and passed 12 amendments. On December 15, 1791, the United States of America ratified ten of these amendments. They are now called the Bill of Rights.

These web sites will assist you in answering these questions. U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights | The Avalon Project at Yale - digital documents related to the American Constitution | Primary Documents in American History at the Library of Congress. | The Story of the Bill of Rights Videos | Liberty's Kids - We the People videos | Bill Of Rights Institute

1. Write the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.



Give an example of how it applies to you.



2. Write the Sixth Amendment in your own words.




Give an example of when this would be very important to a person.




3. The Ninth Amendment was James Madison's answer to critics of the list of rights he wanted to add to the Constitution.
What does the Ninth Amendment guarantee?




4. The President frequently offers an opinion about legislation being proposed and debated in Congress.

What was the opinion of the President during the debates on the first twelve amendments to the U.S. Constitution?

Would you have supported his opinion?


5. It is argued that the U.S. Government's: reading of your emails, listening to your phone calls
and checking out which books you have read at the library (Patriot Act), violates your rights under the Constitution.

Which of the Bill of Rights Amendments do these actions violate?


Should the government be allowed to do this? Explain.


6. Federal law requires schools to tell students their free speech rights at school. What is your school's policy?



Extend your knowledge: Investigate Voting rights.

1. Abigail Adams urged her husband John Adams to “remember the ladies” when he served as the 2nd President of the United States. Unfortunately, the government chose to deny women the right to vote.

Which amendment gives women the right to vote?

When were women finally afforded the right to vote?

For how many years have women been permitted to vote in the United States of America?


2. Which amendment(s) to the Constitution would be particularly important to Rosa Parks? Explain.



3. What argument was used to support the 26th Amendment?


Do you agree with it or dispute it? Explain.



How are Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms emblematic of the Bill of Rights? - research then respond.


"As a man is said to have a right to his property,
he may be equally said to have a property in his rights." James Madison

Done already? Excellent!

History Mystery Message project Honor a suffragist
Complete this essay - The people made the Constitution Explore Congress for Kids The Constitution
Youth Voter project Ben's Guide to the US Government
Bill of Rights Song
Constitution ms/hs First Amendment Elections & Voting Civics & Government Studies
Preamble   Founded on Compromise Supreme Court Cases Checks and Balances
Gouverneur Morris Polly Cooper at Valley Forge War & Peace Founding Mothers
Privacy Rights at School Free speech rights of students Who represents you? Privacy Rights in the Digital Age
Revolutionary spies project Revolutionary people Theodore Roosevelt Limits of US Government Power
The Common Good Oyez: US Supreme Court    

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posted 9/2005 revised 12/2019 by Cindy O'Hora
Released to public domain in honor of the founding mother, Abigail Adams.

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