Bill of Rights for kids: What was the English
Bill of Rights?
The term "Bill of Rights" originated in England
in reference to the 1689 Bill of Rights which listed a number of fundamental
rights and liberties of the English people. The 1689 English Bill of
Rights and the 1215 Magna Carta had a massive influence on the
America Constitution and its first ten amendments. The English Bill
of Rights provided for a frequently summoned Parliament, free
elections and freedom of speech. It also stated that no taxes could
be levied, nor laws dispensed, without the authority of parliament.
It also said that no excessive fines should imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishments should be inflicted on criminals. The Magna
Carta of England was the basis for due process of law that should be
known and orderly, which eventually led to Trial by Jury.
Bill of Rights for kids: Why was the Bill of Rights Created?
Why were the amendments created? American colonists
expected to have the same rights granted in England by the Magna
Carta and the 1689 English Bill of Rights. But the American
colonists were denied these basic rights. People living in the
English colonies of North America were not given the same rights as
the English. The Bill of Rights was created so that
the basic privileges of Americans were put into writing ensuring
such injustices would never happen again.
Bill of Rights for kids: The War of Independence and the State
The harsh and unfair treatment by the British had led
to the War of Independence, which began on April 18, 1775. The
Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776
announcing the separation of the colonies from Britain and making
them into the United States of America. On May 15, 1776 Congress
advised the thirteen original colonies to form their own governments
and to write their own State constitutions. By 1781 every one of the
thirteen colonies had written their own constitutions but a central
government needed to be established. The new Federal Government
needed a Constitution.
Bill of Rights for Kids: Why was the Bill of Rights added to the
The Constitution was written to establish the
principles of the political, legal, and economic systems of America.
And this was done, so why was the Bill of Rights added to the
Constitution? There were opponents who raised strong objections to
the scope of the new Constitution.
People in the individual states were disturbed by
the amount of power given to the Federal government. Many believed
took the control of affairs away from the people. Some
objected because there was nothing in the Constitution to prevent
Congress from passing laws to destroy the freedom of the press.
the biggest objection of all was because there was
no Bill of Rights attached to it, providing written documentation
about the basic rights of citizens encompassing the concepts of
"sovereignty, freedom and independence".
Bill of Rights for Kids: Who wrote the Bill of Rights?
Who wrote the Bill of Rights? Excellent question.
The amendments were written primarily by James
Madison who was inspired by Thomas Jefferson, but
credit is also given to the ideas of George Mason,
who was a staunch advocate for the inclusion of
individual liberties into the Constitution.
James Madison is called the "Father of the
Constitution" due to his significant role in ensuring that the first
10 amendments were added to the Constitution.
How was the Bill of Rights added to the
The conventions for the individual
states proposed amendments to the Constitution to
resolve any objections they had. James Madison was
extremely well read in the history of government and
used a range of sources, including the State
Constitutions, the English Bill of Rights and the
Magna Carta when composing the amendments to the
Bill of Rights for Kids: When was the Bill of Rights written?
wrote the amendments in 1789 and they were proposed to Congress on
June 8, 1789.
Bill of Rights for Kids: When was the Bill of Rights ratified?
The 10 amendments ratified, meaning that they came into effect, in 1791. The addition of the first 10
amendments brought agreement to the US Constitution and the Union of
the 13 original states was complete.
Where was the Bill of Rights written?
The US Constitution was written in
1787 during the
Constitutional Convention at the
Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence
Hall) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. James Madison
lived all of his life in Virginia, only away from
home attending conventions and during his
presidency. It therefore is safe to assume that
elements of the amendments were drafted in
both Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Bill of Rights for Kids - President George Washington Video
The article on the
Bill of Right for Kids provides an overview of one of the major issues of his presidential term in office. The following video will
give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 1st
American President whose presidency spanned from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.