Prof Lauren Conj
Comm 301
15 November 2015
In the USA Bill of Rights refers to the document defining fundamental rights of people and which were incorporated in toe US constitution by the first ten amendments to the Constitution that came into effect in 1791. And the Fourteenth amendment, adopted in 1868, provides, among other things, a broad definition of citizenship, which ensured that the blacks are also considered citizens of the USA. It also expressly prohibits states form enacting any law or taking any action that abridges the fundamental rights or freedom of people. In this way the fourteenth amendment made the application the bills of rights much more effective in two ways. It made sure that the fundamental rights are enjoyed by all people irrespective of their race or other similar sectarian considerations. Further, it removed any ambiguity that may have existed about the power of states to abridge the fundamental rights of the people.
One of the principal points of contention between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists was the lack of an enumeration of basic civil rights in the Constitution. Many Federalists argued, as in Federalist No. 84, that the people surrendered no rights in adopting the Constitution. In several states, however, the ratification debate in some states hinged on the adoption of a bill of rights. The solution was known as the Massachusetts Compromise, in which four states ratified the Constitution but at the same time sent recommendations for amendments to the Congress.
James Madison introduced 12 amendments to the First Congress in 1789. Ten of these would go on to become what we now consider to be the Bill of Rights. One was never passed, while another dealing with Congressional salaries was not ratified until 1992, when it became the 27th Amendment. Based on the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the English Bill of Rights, the writings of the Enlightenment, and the rights defined in the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights contains rights that many today consider to be fundamental to America.