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Origins of the Bill of Rights
Origins of the
Bill of Rights

Words We Live By Constitution
The Words
We Live By: Constitution
The Words We
Live By: Constitution

Creating the Bill of Rights
Creating the
Bill of Rights

Kid's Guide to America's Bill of Rights
A Kid's Guide to America's Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censors and the
100-Pound Giant

Teacher's Best - The Creative Process

The Bill of Rights Educational Posters and Charts
for social studies and history classrooms, home schoolers teaching resources.

social studies posters > historic documents > BILL OF RIGHTS > American Revolution Posters

Bill of Rights Art Print
Bill of Rights
Art Print

The Bill of Rights series of educational posters: Amendments 1-10 constitute what is known as the Bill of Rights. Other changes and additions have been made to the Constitution over the past 200+ years.

Visit the National Archives site for Amendments 11-27. [Civil Rights quotes] [Rights Matter]

Bill of Rights Chart
Bill of Rights

The U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights Classroom Poster
The U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights Classroom Poster

The Bill of Rights Poster - First Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights-
Poster Set

Bill of Rights

When many people think of the freedoms guaranteed to the people of the United States, they are thinking of protections that are part of the Bill of Rights – the first ten Amendments to the U. S. Constitution. But practically these rights, which have become so linked to the basic ideas of our government, were not part of the original Constitution at all. ...

The Bill of Rights Poster - First Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights-
First Amendment

First Amendment
Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and the Right to Petition the Government.

“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 peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The FIRST AMENDMENT protects five important rights – the right to follow the religion of one's choice; the right to speak one's mind freely on any subject; the right to print or publish ideas in any form freely, even if those ideas are unpopular or harshly critical of the government; the right to gather in groups peacefully for any lawful reason; and the right to ask government officials to change decisions or rules thought to be unfair. As with all rights, there are limits on each of these – but only when following them might harm or take away some other important right.

Susan B. Anthony helped with anti-slavery petitions that were gathered despite the House of Representatives “gag rule” in place between 1831-1844.
• Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. is cited widely for his “clear and present danger” majority opinion on the Schenck v. United States (1919), that the First Amendment would not protect a person “falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic” ruling that in time of war the First Amendment did not protect speech encouraging insubordination.
• Did you know that Upton Sinclair was arrested in 1923 for reading the First Amendment at a California labor rally?

Banned Books and Authors

The Bill of Rights Poster - Second Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights -
Second Amendment Poster

Second Amendment
Right to Keep and bear arms.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

There have been may arguments about the SECOND AMENDMENT – as there have been about most of the aother amendments. Some people say the right to bear arms was important in the past, when militias of citizens wit hmuskets or rifles were the main way we fought against our country's enemies. These people say the amendment was never meant to give everyone the right to a dangerous weapon. But others disagree. They believe that the right to bear arms is still one of the most important rights we have. They say the freedom and safety of each of us may depend on being able to defend ourselves and our families with a weapon.

The Bill of Rights Poster - Third Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights -
Third Amendment

Third Amendment
Limits Where Soldiers Can be Housed.

“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

In the years before the American Revolution, the British often had large armis in the American colonies. And ordinary Americans were often forced to let soldiers in those armies live with them in their homes. as wit hthe Second Amendment, the THIRD AMENDMENT reflects the anger the colonists felt about these standing armies. It says that, in times of peace, no soldier can be placed in a private home without the permission of the homeowner.

The Bill of Rights Poster - Fourth Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights -
Fourth Amendment

Fourth Amendment
Forbidding Unreasonalbe Searches and Seizures.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

When Great Britain ruled the Colonies, officials could search someone even when they had no real reason to suspect that person of crimes. The FOURTH AMENDMENT forbids this. It says officials need special permission from a judge to search people or their belongings. This special permission is called a “search warrant.” To get a search warrant, police must show they have good reason to believe a law has been broken. And the warrant must describe the places and people to be searched and any belongings to be seized.

The Bill of Rights Poster - Fifth Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights -
Fifth Amendment

Fifth Amendment
Certain Rights of Person Accused of Crimes and Persons Whose Property is to Be Taken

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The first part of this amendment says a person can only be put on trial for a serious crime after a grand jury first agrees that this should happen. a grand jury is a group of citizens who decide whether there is enough evidence to try someone for a crime. The FIFTH AMENDMENT also says a person normally cannot be tried more than once for the same crime. And it says persons accused of crimes cannot be forced to make any statements that might be used against them in a trial. That's why police must now tell people under arrest that they “have the right to ramain silent.” The FIFTH AMENDMENT says a person accused of a crime must be given “due process of law” – that is, all laws and rules must be followed in that person's trial. Finally, the amendment says the government cannot take away anyone's property without paying for it fairly.

The Bill of Rights Poster - Sixth Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights -
Sixth Amendment

Sixth Amendment
Other Trial Rights of Persons Accused of Crimes

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

This amendment says a person accused of a crime has a right to be brought to trial quickly. That trial must be public – in other words, it must not be held in secret. Accused persons must be told what crimes they have supposedly committed. They must be allowed to see and hear all witnesses used to prove them guilty. And they have a right to make witnesses come to court who can help them. Finally, the SIXTH AMENDMENT says any accused person has a right to the help of a lawyer during his or her trial.

Landmark Decisions of the Supreme Court Posters: Gideon v. Wainright

The Bill of Rights Poster - Seventh Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights -
Seventh Amendment Poster

Seventh Amendment
The Right to a Jury Trial in Civil Cases.

“In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”

In criminal trials, it is the government that accuses someone of committing a crime. But not all trials are criminal trials. Some trials are held to settle other kinds of arguments between two citizens or between groups of citizens. In these so-called “civil” cases, one side usually says the other side caused it some kind of harm. and in the trial, it “sues,” or asks the court to make the other side pay for that harm. The SEVENTH AMENDMENT says that people in most of these civil cases have the right to a jury trial.

The Bill of Rights Poster - Eight Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights -
Eighth Amendment Poster

Eighth Amendment
No Cruel and Unusual Punishments

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

The first part of this amendment says that bail or fines must not be set too high. Bail is the money an accused person must give the court until his or her trial is held. It is a way to make sure that person shows up for the trial. The other part of the amendment has to do with punishments given to criminals. In the past, as the drawing here shows, people were often whipped or had their eye put out for small crimes. This part of the EIGHTH AMENDMENT is meant to stop such unfair punishments. In recent years, many people have said that putting criminals to death goes against this part of the amendment. Others strongly disagree. As of now, our nation's courts say that the death penalty for certain very serious crimes does not go against the EIGHTH AMENDMENT.

The Bill of Rights Poster - Ninth Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights-
Ninth Amendment Poster

Ninth Amendment
Rights Kept by the People

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The Constitution was written by 55 people in 1787. This painting depicts that group of famous American leaders. The states later ratified – that is, agreed to – the Constitution, and it went into effect in 1789. The Bill of Rights amendments were added to the Constitution in 1791. Those who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights realized that many specific individual rights were not mentioned in either document. With the NINTH AMENDMENT, they tried to protect these rights – and new ones that might be needed as the nation changed and grew in the decades or centuries to come. The amendment simply says that no individual right can be taken away simply because it is not specifically listed in the Constitution.

The Bill of Rights Poster - Tenth Amendment Poster
The Bill of Rights-
Tenth Amendment Poster

Tenth Amendment
Rights of the States

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The United States was first formed out of 13 states. Each of these states was once a colony of Great Britain. After the Revolution, the states guarded their newly-won powers closely. With the Articles of Confederation, they did set up a national government. But the government had very little power. The Constitution signed in 1787 created a new national government with greater power. But the TENTH AMENDMENT shows that the national government was limited in its powers. It was to have those powers specifically given to it by the Constitution. And except for powers specifically taken away from the states, all other powers were left to the states or to the people.

FYI ~ Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist “favored a conception of federalism that paid greater attention to the Tenth Amendment's reservation of powers to the states.

Civil War - 13th Amendment Poster
Civil War - 13th Amendment Poster

• 13th Amendment outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. 1865

Lincoln posters

Civil War - 14th Amendment Poster
Civil War - 14th Amendment Poster

• 14th Amendment granted citizenship to all people “born or naturalized in the United States,” and included the due process and equal protection clauses. 1868

See Plessy v. Ferguson Landmark Decision poster
On 5-18-1896 the Supreme Court affirmed a ‘separate but equal’ policy that allowed widespread segregation to thrive in the South, upholding the “Jim Crow” laws that helped maintain segregation in the South.

15th Amendment Poster
15th Amendment Poster

• 15th Amendmen in 1870: education, family life, jobs, and the vote. Among the collage of images are portraits of Frederick Douglass, John Brown, and Abraham Lincoln. (Broadside published in New York, NY, 1870)

President Lyndon Johnson Signing Voting Rights Bill, Photographic Print
President Lyndon Johnson Signing Voting Rights Bill, Photographic Print

The National Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States. Civil Rights posters.

The 15th Amendment, Granting Voting Rights to All Citizens of the USA on 19th May, 1870, Giclee Print
The 15th Amendment, Granting Voting Rights to All Citizens of the USA on 19th May, 1870,
Giclee Print

Echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, the Act prohibited states from imposing any “voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”

• 13th Amendment officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. 1868
• 14th Amendment granted citizenship to all people “born or naturalized in the United States,” and included the due process and equal protection clauses. 1868
• 19th Amendment prohibits each of the states and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote because of that citizen's sex. August 18, 1920. Women Activist posters. Who was the only woman to vote for the 19th Amendment?

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last updated 2/24/14