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Articles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 4 years, 6 months ago

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, Howard Chandler Christy (1939)  

Image from the Architect of the Capitol

 

 

Topics on the Page

 

The Articles of the Constitution

 

The Bill of Rights

 

Amendments to the Constitution

 

Many people think that the Constitution was adopted July 4th, 1776. However, that was the date the Declaration of Independence was signed.

 

  • Before the Constitution, the United States used the Articles of Confederation as the law of the land.

 

  • When it became clear that the Articles were failing, a convention was called in Philadelphia to design a new system for the United States.

 

  • The Constitution of the United States was officially adopted and ratified on March 4, 1789.

 

  • The most important function of the Constitution was to set up how the government would be run. This meant developing a system of separation of powers and checks and balances.

 

Preamble to the Constitution

Click here to see SchoolHouse Rock video called Constitution Preamble

 

 

 

The Articles of the Constitution

 

 

Article I:  Legislative Branch, from National Constitution Center

 

Article II:  Executive Branch

 

Article III:  Judicial Branch

 

Article IV:  States, Citizenship, New States

 

Article V:  Amendments

 

Article VI:  Debts, Supremacy, Oaths, Religious Tests

 

Article VII:  Ratification

 

Overview of The Articles of the Constitution from Scholastic

 

 

Link to Captain Kirk's Constitution Speech from Star Trek episode, The Omega Glory (1968)

 

 

 

Japan's Postwar Constitution, Constitutional Rights Foundation

 

 

 

 

Link to page on The Bill of Rights

 

Bill of Rights Car.  Image on Wikimedia Commons by fusion-of-horizons

 

 

Topics on the Bill of Rights Page

 

Summary of the Bill of Rights

 
Passage of the Bill of Rights

  • Franklin Roosevelt's Economic Bill of Rights (1944)
    • Patients Bill of Rights (adopted 1995) 

 

The influence of the British concept of limited government

  • English Bill of Rights

 

The particular ways in which the Bill of Rights protects basic freedoms, restricts government power, and ensures rights to persons accused of crimes.

  • LGBTQ Rights in the United States
  • LGBTQ Rights Around the World
  • Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage
  • Debates over the Amendments

 

 

Amendments to the Constitution

 

The Constitution has only been amended 17 times since the Bill of Rights, and one of those amendments (the 21st) was done just to repeal another (the 18th, known as Prohibition).

  • Five amendments have dealt with presidential succession, elections or terms in office.

 

  • A flurry of amendments after the Civil War abolished slavery, guaranteed equal protection under the law and banned racial discrimination. A successor amendment in the 1960s banned the poll tax, often used to keep African-Americans from voting in states that once had slavery.

 

    • Amendments have granted women the right to vote (19th), lowered the voting age to 18 from 21 (26th), imposed the income tax (16th) and provided for the direct election of senators by the voters rather than by state legislatures (17th).

 

      • 27th Amendment, most recently added, dealt with Congressional pay raises

 

 

Right to Literacy and Education

 

Is There a Constitutional Right to Literacy Education?

 

  • While the US Constitution does not clearly establish a right to education, state constitutions frequently do.

 

 

Students Argue Literacy Is a Right in a Lawsuit, NPR (July 26, 2018)

 

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