James Madison and the Bill of Rights Essay Example


James Madison, America's fourth president, explains “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” In 1787, states met to discuss the revision of the Articles Of Confederation, this meeting changed the face of the United States forever. Due to the Articles Of Confederation being extremely weak and the Bill Of Rights being added the constitution was ratified. 

As shown in the cartoon,  “Rough Sailing Ahead, the ship sinking illustrates how America was doing under the ruling of the Articles Of Confederation. Adding on, the government did not maintain enough power, making the articles weak. For example, there was no National Court System, no Power to Enforce Treaties, no Power to Enforce Laws, and no power to tax. Since they were not able to tax colonists, the government did not have enough money to pay for their expenses. This led to states all printing their own money, making the value of money weaker. Adding on, there was no national court system, so issues between states were not able to be resolved. Additionally , the court system was important because it gives people the right to a fair trial, this means everyone is treated equally in a trial. The Articles were failing and so was America; as a whole changes had to be made. Due to the fact, farmers were suffering significant economic problems and could not pay their taxes and debts, they got their land taken. However, this enraged farmers and led to Shays Rebellion, when more than 1,000 farmers took part in the attack of courthouses and protests. This caused leaders from several states to realize how easy it was for colonists to overthrow the Articles Of Confederation. This led to the drafting of the Constitution. However, they never knew they were going to establish an entirely new government. 

As explained in the list, titled The Bill Of Rights, written by James Madison, it was the main reason anti-federalists would be willing to ratify the constitution. For example, the Bill Of Rights represents a list of rights that the U.S. government could not deny its citizens and must work to protect. For example, some Bill Of Rights are the first amendment, the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. Specifically, The first amendment was important because it granted the people the right to express themselves without punishment. The 2nd amendment is the right to keep arms and have state militia, and this is important because it gave the people the right to protect themselves and their property. This was crucial because since there was no army or anyone to defend them they needed to protect themselves. The reason Anti-federalists demanded these rights on the document were, so they could protect American individual liberties. Most importantly, anti-federalists felt strongly about their rights being written. This was because if they were written down Americans were guaranteed their rights; this made them feel safe and secure. The ratification of the U.S. Constitution worked out since the Articles Of Confederation were weak and that the Bill Of Rights was passed. The Constitution was so well-made it continues to the governor are countries today. The ratification of the Constitution changed America's government forever.

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