In this chapter, you read about the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—and the important freedoms it protects.
Creating the Bill of Rights By 1791, nine of the 13 states had ratified ten amendments drafted by James Madison and approved by Congress. These ten amendments form the Bill of Rights.
First Amendment Rights The First Amendment protects five basic freedoms: the right to worship freely, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the rights of assembly and petition.
Citizen Protections The Second, Third, and Fourth Amendments protect people against the abuse of government power.
Legal Rights and Protections The Fifth through the Eighth Amendments are intended to guarantee fair treatment for people involved in legal actions.
Other Rights and Powers The Ninth and Tenth Amendments concern the relationships among the federal government, the states, and the people. The Ninth Amendment protects rights that are not expressly listed in the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment says that powers that are neither given to the national government nor forbidden to the states belong to the states and the people.