Bill of Rights Essay

Submitted By vathom98
Words: 914
Pages: 4

PROJECT: COMPARE BILLS OF RIGHTS

Below is the list of questions to be answered on this REPORT document.

What are the “natural rights” of man, where did they come from, and how are they “self-evident”?
Where did the Bill of Rights come from and why did the Founding Fathers think they were necessary?
How did the United States Bill of Rights compare with the English Bill of Rights?
What were the differences and similarities between the new U.S. government and the English Parliamentary system?

The United States Declaration of Independence and the according Bill of Rights states the rights of human beings as endowed by God as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, the right to abolish an evil government that would limit or remove these rights, the right to institute a new and morally better government based upon these principles in a way to positively affect their pursuit of happiness, the freedom to have whatever religion you want and to not be persecuted for it, the right of freedom of speech, the right of freedom of the press, the right to assemble peaceably, the right to petition the government to stop grievances, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to not be forced into quartering a soldier in peacetime without personal consent, the right to be secure in a person’s own home, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to a speedy and fair trial and a lawyer, and freedom from excessive fines, bail, and “cruel and unusual punishment”. The framers of the United States Constitution drew upon their personal and religious experiences to arrive at this definition of the rights of man. These rights came from God, and the framers made the definition official by placing it in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. The framers drew their conclusion by applying the principle of “do unto others” – they wrote in the same rights that they themselves would want if they were a commoner with no say in the Constitution, and had seen others want as well under the rule of Britain.

The United States Bill of Rights came from a desire from important figures like James Madison to spell out man’s rights, so that gross and obvious violations such as the ones Britain was making would not commence anymore. The Bill of Rights was advocated by such important political figures like Thomas Jefferson because it would spell out the colonists’ rights and ensure that the new government would not become oppressive like Britain.

Both the English and U.S. Bills of Rights speak out against excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments, the English Bill of Rights in the context of the wrongs committed by the former king James the Second, and the U.S. in the context of the wrongs committed by Britain and King George III. Both Bills of Rights agree that the right to religious freedom, the right to liberty, and the right to petition the government for a redressing of grievances should be protected. The English Bill of Rights takes a more obviously religious slant than the U.S. Bill of Rights, frequently referring to and thanking God, decrying James the Second’s attempts to “subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom”, these two grievances being expounded upon within the same breath, and stating that the prince of Orange pleased Almighty God to “[deliver] this kingdom from popery and…