The Unites States: A Detailed Outline of the Constitution
Elected public servants, police officers, the military and other public sector employees take an oath of alliance to the Constitution and not a person when they are hired or start their jobs. Why is this important?
Articles of Confederation (Ratified 1781)
During the Revolutionary War, the American states started considering the form of government they wish to attain following the War. On June 11, 1776 the Second Continental Congress appointed three committees in response to the Lee Resolution. One committee, created to determine the form of confederation of the colonies, was composed on one representative from each colony with John Dickinson, a delegate from Delaware, as the principal writer.
The Dickerson Draft named the Confederation “the United States of America”, provided for a Congress with representation based on population, and gave to the national government all powers not designated to the states.
The Articles of Confederation were adopted by Congress on November 1777. The Articles were finally ratified by last of the 13 American states, Maryland, in 1781 and became the ruling document of the nation.
The state governments retained most of the power under the Articles, with little power give to the central government. Congress, for example, had to rely upon the states for its funds and for the executed of its decrees. The central government received little respect and was not able to accomplish much because it had little authority over the states of individuals in America.
Procedure for amending the CONSTITUTION
The current procedure for amending the Constitution is to have the proposed amendment resolution pass both the United States Senate and House by two-thirds vote and have 75% of the states ratify the amendment within a set time period. The other method for starting a constitutional amendment is to have two-thirds of the states to call for a Constitutional Convention to pass an amendment resolution and then have 75% of the state legislatures ratify the amendment.
The first ten amendments to the CONSTITUION “Bill of Rights”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The government cannot help or hurt any religion. They cannot make any person believe or practice any religion, nor can they stop any person from believing or practicing any religion. Non-belief in religion is also permissible.
The government cannot make someone, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim or Christian, nor can they stop someone from being one. The government can stop a person from a religious practice if hurts someone. The ancient Aztec belief of human sacrifice to the sun god would not be permitted by the Constitution.
Freedom of Speech/Press
Freedom of Speech does not mean that a person can say whatever they want to say. Freedom of Speech means that someone’s right to say something is protected within certain limits. A person may have to suffer consequences for saying some things. For example is against the law to yell “Fire” in a crowded place because it could harm others. A person cannot say things or put comments in print that they know are not true. The issue of slander and libel has been used in these cases. What about Blogs, are they protected speech?
There are also cases for conflicts concerning viewpoints expressed in books, magazines and newspapers. The author of such publications are protected under the first amendment, just because some people may not like what you have to say does not mean you do not the right to say it. Can the public ban books from libraries or limit the use of the internet?
Freedom of Assembly
The right to...
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