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5-24 The Bill of Rights

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In 1791, the U.S. Constitution was amended by the Bill of Rights.  Ten amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution to protect American citizens from the government.  It was originally assumed that because the powers of the government were limited, a statement of rights was not needed in the U.S. Constitution when it was written by the authors.  As the states began to ratify the Constitution in 1787 and 1788, they asked that a Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution.

The Bill of Rights provides the following:

First Amendment:
This amendment provides that any U.S. citizen has the right to choose his or her own religion.  Congress cannot pass a law making a religion the official religion of the United States.  All citizens are given freedom of speech (the right to speak out without fear of punishment).  All citizens are provided freedom of the press (the right to print information without censorship).  All citizens are provided the freedom of assembly (the right to gather as a group). All citizens are provided the right of petition (the right to ask the government to change things).

Second Amendment:
This amendment provides the right to bear arms.  Arms are weapons and guns.  All citizens are allowed to own guns and keep them within their homes.

Third Amendment:
This amendment provides prohibition of U.S. citizens from housing foreign soldiers in private homes during peace time and war time.

Fourth Amendment
This amendment provides protection against the government or police from invading your home or arresting you without just cause.  The Fourth Amendment outlaws unreasonable searches and seizures.  The government must possess a search warrant to enter and search your home.  This amendment also protects someone from being wrongly arrested for a crime.

Fifth Amendment
This amendment provides protection from double jeopardy.  Double jeopardy is putting a person on trial for a crime more than one time.  This amendment states that once a person is placed on trial, found innocent, he or she may not be tried again even if more evidence is found that can prove guilt.  It also provides that a person may not be punished twice for the same crime.  This amendment protects people from being a witness against themselves.  This is called self-incrimination.  The fifth amendment also provides the right to due process of the law.  This means the government cannot take away someone's life, liberty, or property without first following the proper steps set forth in the laws.

Sixth Amendment
This amendment provides the right to a fast, fair, and public trial.  A person accused of a crime has the right to be present in court and the right to have a lawyer represent them in court, even if they cannot afford one.  This amendment protects the rights of the accused.

Seventh Amendment
This amendment provides all citizens the right to a trial by jury in any case involving more than twenty dollars.  It is our right to have our case decided by a jury or a judge.

Eighth Amendment
This amendment provides us protection from excessive bail.  It also protects us from cruel or unusual punishment.  Bail is money given to be released from jail before the trial.  The money is returned when the accused appears in court for the trial.

Ninth Amendment
This amendment provides rights that are not listed in the constitution.  It is the etcetera amendment.  It provides that citizens have other rights not listed in the constitution.

Tenth Amendment
This amendment provides the states and its people all powers not specifically listed in the U.S. Constitution.  What is not written in the constitution is given to the states and its people.  Education is one example.

Complete the questions below.

In 1791, the U.S. Constitution was amended by the .

In 1971, amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution to protect American citizens from the government.

The First Amendment provides that any U.S. citizen has the right to choose his or her own .

The Fourth Amendment outlaws unreasonable and seizures.

The Ninth Amendment is the amendment.

The Second Amendment provides the right to bear

The Fifth Amendment protects people from being a against themselves.

The Seventh Amendment provides all citizens the right to a trial by in any case involving more than twenty dollars.

The Sixth Amendment provides the right to a fast, fair, and trial.

Complete with True or False.

It was originally assumed that because the powers of the government were limited, a statement of rights was not needed in the U.S. Constitution when it was written by the authors. 

True

False

The Ninth Amendment provides rights that are not listed in the constitution. 

True

False

The Fifth Amendment states that once a person is placed on trial, found innocent, he or she may be tried again if more evidence is found that can prove guilt.

True

False

Bail is money given to be released from jail before a trial.

True

False

The government or police may enter your home or arrest you without just cause.

True

False

A person accused of a crime does not have the right to be present in court.

True

False

All citizens are provided the freedom of assembly (the right to gather as a group).

True

False

The government cannot take away someone's life, liberty, or property without first following the proper steps set forth in the laws.

True

False

Congress can pass a law making a religion the official religion of the United States.

True

False

Citizens cannot print information without censorship by the government.

True

False

All citizens are given freedom of speech (the right to speak out without fear of punishment).

True

False

All citizens are provided the right of petition (the right to ask the government to change things).

True

False

The government has the only right to have a case decided by a jury or a judge.

True

False

The Tenth Amendment provides the states and its people all powers not specifically listed in the U.S. Constitution.

True

False

A person may be punished twice for the same crime.

True

False

Double jeopardy is putting a person on trial for a crime more than one time.

True

False

 

 

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