People who have heard about the bill of rights, are unaware of the events that led to our founding fathers to institute them. Although James Madison was considered the “Father of the Constitution”, many brave men and women laid the foundation which Madison used to assemble the “Bill of Rights”. Not to mention and attribute their sacrifices would be a disservice to people who risked their lives to secure the freedoms most of us take for granted today.
We will look at a few of the events that help procure some of our most fundamental rights. To understand what led up to the bill of rights, it is important to understand the Articles of Confederation.
The Articles of Confederation, were adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777, and the newly created central government had very limited power. (Alderman, Kennedy 15)
In the Articles of Confederation the states retained their sovereignty and independence. Essentially, the states remained as thirteen individual countries, although united under the Articles of Confederation. (Alderman, Kennedy 16)
Approximately ten years after the signing of the Articles of Confederation, it became clear that this system of government did not have the power to regulate commerce, or trade, establish and regulate currency, provide for defense, or with settle the frontier. In 1787, twelve states (Rhode Island sustaining) sent delegates to Philadelphia to draft a new constitution, that would leave the new country better equipped to handle these issues.
As the delegates debated of the contents of the constitution, there was debate as to whether it should contain a bill of rights. Alexander Hamilton staunchly opposed any bill of rights. Hamilton argued that the federal government should not exercise authority it did not have the authority to exercise. He argued that provision within the articles of the constitution limited the power of the federal government. Hamilton stated the beginning of the Constitution secured those right...