The constitution is a document which is composed of the regulatory directives which are regarded as the laws of the country to govern the country so as to promote the equality and the human rights of the citizens without any discrimination (Bailyn, Bernard, 1993). The United States of America constitution was signed in the year of 1787 September; 17.The United States of America constitution is one of the outstanding written documents in the world history. As the United states preamble states that” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”, the main aim of the United states of America constitution is to promote the welfare of it’s citizens and at the same time try to preserve the sovereignty of the American people. The United States of America constitution has tried to regulate the powers of the legislature, executive and the judiciary at large. At the same time this constitution has tried to regulate the powers of the state governments. According to Jefferson, America needed a free wourld.Thus the free world has been provided by the constitution. The United States of America constitution has undergone some radical amendments since it was established.
The American law making process is bestowed to the congress whose constitution comprises of the House of Representatives and the senate. The constitution empowers the congress to represent the people of America who have the constitutional right to vote for or against any representative .An amendment in the law refers to a change or alteration made on an existing law of a country. This also lies in the constitutional roles of the congress. The nature of the American law before the advent of the American Bill of Rights was such that it was not clear for one to draw a distinction between the provisions granted by an existing law and those not granted or rather prohibited. The aim of the first ten amendment was to bring to the rule that any provision not allocated to the federal government belonged to the states and the people of America. This was an issue of concern among American citizens with many complaining that the government at the time held all the right to act in any way provided or not provided for by the constitution.
The first ten amendments are generally referred as the bill of rights. The bill of rights was ratified on the year of 1791 respectively.
The people of America had a lot of problems in trusting any body that holds too much powers for him/her self. Every state is obligated to be on the look out for any embossment on it by a rule .The human race is known for the lust to have more supremacy and grab as more power as possible; the bill of rights amendment is geared towards restoration of peoples’ freedom held by powerful men and women of corrupt intent. According to Thomas Jefferson no man can be wholly trusted with power and it’s advisable that any body entrusted with power be held within the limits of the constitutional framework. The power of the American constitution has been relaxed and its powers stolen by tyrants. The denial of such power to the states and the empowerment of the federal government have resulted in a notable misuse of this power by presidential allies who may not have been empowered through the election process. The economy was dwindling when various tyrants are reaping the best of the many sectors of the American economy. The passing into law of the bill of rights amendment had hopefully corrected such measures and helped to spearhead the recovery process.
The American law making process is a nine steps procedure that involves the proposal of a statement that should be made into law or incorporated in to the existing law .The power to make law is bestowed to the congress and any congressman has the power to motion a proposal (Garvey, John, 2004). On introduction in to the congress, a proposal to be made into law can take the form of a bill. It is then allocated a number with which it will be referred to in the subsequent stages .The number allocated changes for every introduction and this explains why the bill of rights amendment resolution was designated with different numbers other than the first number on the very first introduction. The congress then debates on the proposal until a consensus is arrived at which may be that it is accepted or rejected .It only becomes law on approval by the senate and the signing of the president. This research paper tries to bring out the origin of the bill of rights and its impact to the United States of America citizens. At the same time this paper will try to analyze regulation of powers of the central and the state governments of the United States of America respectively.
American Bill of rights
The United States of America Bill of rights is composed of ten newly amended laws which have been added to the original constitution of 1791(www.yale.edu,2008).mostly the English bill of Rights influenced the creation of the American Bill of Rights. These two types of bill of rights have some same characteristics such as the prohibition from cruel punishment and excessive bail. Other principles which are contained in the constitutions of states and the bills declaration of Virginia were consequently added to the American bill of Rights.
The first ten amendments are generally referred to as the bill of rights. The constitution of the United States of America has been subjected to numerous changes since its establishment in the year of 1787.This has been contributed by the fact that the United States of America has undergone a radical growth. Most of the twenty six amendments were made by the decision which was made by the Supreme Court. Consequently the first ten amendments which are regarded as the bill of rights were introduced after the period of two years from the date when the federal constitution was signed in order to give the United States of America some freedom and liberty in general. Initially the bill of rights was aimed at being used by the federal government but after the fourteenth amendment of 1868 this bill of rights is in operational up to the state government level (Mason, et al, 2004).
The freedom of worship is guaranteed in the first amendment .This amendment outlines that everybody who is a citizen in the United States of America has a right to choose his or her religion and the way to worship; however this amendment says that the religious sect should respect the moral ethics of the society. At the same time this first amendment gives each individual the freedom of speech and expression provided that the speech does not call for any disturbances to the public and the private life’s of others. Moreover this amendment gives the citizens the right to press and the petition of the government if it fails to address the grievances put forward by the citizens of the United States of America. At the same time this first amendment guarantees the individuals to have peaceful associations. However this first amendment has been in the regular criticism by the supreme court of the United States of America by claiming that the freedom of speech does not prohibit the government from investigating the suspected individuals. Moreover the Supreme Court argues that the prayers that are carried in school are violating the first amendment since the schools are not made to serve as worshiping places.
The second amendment guarantees the citizens the right to posses the arms legally. Since the security of the citizens is of much importance those who have the fire arms should not be interrupted at all. But this amendment is regulated in that the arms should not be used to disturb the security of others who do not posses them.
The third amendment prohibits the usage of the private properties by the armies and the military personalities in the peaceful times. Thus the quartering of the armed forces in the people’s houses without the owners consent is highly prohibited.
The forth amendment prohibits the unnecessary search and the seizure of the personal properties. All properties in the form of houses, persons and papers should be respected and their arbitrary searches are condemned highly. Searches should only be done in case of the security fears and should be done when the warrant is ordered by the government.
Consequently the fifth amendments gives the guidelines which shall be used to guarantee the fair trial of the involved suspected criminals.Thuis amendment provides that their shall be no individual who shall be subjected to the capital punishment or be subjected to higher punishment other than the required one. Thus the involved criminals should not be subjected to double jeopardy for the offence which needs lighter punishment. But this may be reversed in the time of war or in the time of the state of emergency which may pose the public danger in general. The suspected criminals should not be compelled to bear the burden of his witness and hence everyone has the right to be represented by the witness in court and at the same time the criminals are given permission to be represented by the lawyers. At the same this amendment protects the individuals from being deprived their life and liberty. Moreover no one shall be deprived of his or her personal property without the; proper due channel of the law. At the same time there shall be no conversion of the private property into the usage by the government.
The sixth amendment has given the opportunity to have the speedy trial of the convicted criminals. At the same time the convicted criminals are given the right of being represented with the witness. The witnesses are protected from confrontation by the opposite parties or the authorities involved. Regardless of the degree of the criminal offence, the accused individuals are supposed to enjoy the provision of justice by getting proper trial and at the appropriate time possible. The prosecution of the suspected criminals should be carried out by the impartial jury who has no partiality. The suspected criminals should be informed of the nature of the accusation and the cause of the accusation. At the same time the suspect is allowed to be represented by the witnesses and they shall have the counsel for his or her defense assistance.
The seventh amendment is generally involved with the trial of the suspected criminals by the jury. This amendment states that if a suspected criminal is tried by the government jury, then he or she is exempted from being tried again by the United States of America courts. At the same time this amendments guarantees the provision of being tried by the jury in all common cases.
The eight amendments prohibit the cruel punishment which is unusual in regard to the society. The excessive fines and bails which are unnecessary are not needed. Thus proper determination of the amount of punishment must be regulated by the concerned authorities.
The ninth amendment regulates the application of the constitution articles. It outlines that it shall not be used to oppress the people of the nation. Consequently the tenth amendment upholds the powers of the constitution to the state and the people respectively (Tribe, Laurence H, 1998).
Impact of the American Bills of Rights.
The first ten amendments were basically meant to be applied in the state level, with an exception where the amendments refers to the federal government. For instance the first amendment of the American bill of rights quotes that” No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”( www.yale.edu,2008).However the supreme courts has used this clause to argue that not all amendments were made to be used in the state level, but these amendments can be used in the federal systems.
Since the establishment of the American bill of Rights, the democracy of the United States of America has improved to a great extent (Hall, Kemut, 1992). The freedom of expression has increased; this has led to much development in the poltical, social and the economic matters. This is due to the fact that many people have started to involve themselves in the many activities without fear as the freedom of expression and the press is totally guaranteed. At the same time there is a lot of improvements in the justice department as most of the amendments were aimed at streamlining the judicial department. Fines and bails were reduced after this amendment. Moreover the torture system which used to exist before the amendment reduced as it was now prohibited. And at the same time the corruption rate in the United States of America reduced as the law was now modified in a way that discouraged the corruption activities.
The Avalon Project, 2008, “Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention”. The Avalon Project at Yale Law School: www.yale.edu.
Bailyn, Bernard, ed.1993, The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Ant federalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters during the Struggle for Ratification. Part One: September 1787 to February 1788; The Library of America.Chicago; Chicago University press.
Garvey, John H. ed.2004, Modern Constitutional Theory: A Reader 5th ed.New York; New York University Press.
Mason et al, 2004. American Constitutional Law: Introductory Essays and Selected Cases.
Tribe, Laurence H.1999, American Constitutional Law .Cambridge; Cambridge University press.
Hall, Kermit, ed.1992, The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. Oxford U. Press.