The Bill of Rights and The Founders
Provides an introduction and overview of the Bill of Rights, including the Founders’ understanding of the “rights of Englishmen,” British law, and natural rights philosophy. This unit also examines the Federalist and Anti-Federalist debate about a bill of rights.
What Are the Origins of the Bill of Rights?
In this lesson, students will explore the events and philosophies from British and colonial history that shaped the Founders’ ideas about natural rights as well as the rights of Englishmen. They will also see how these rights affect all of our daily lives in a free society.
Inalienable / Natural Rights
Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.
Except where authorized by citizens through the Constitution, the government does not have the authority to limit freedom.
Citizens are best able to pursue happiness when government is confined to those powers which protect their life, liberty, and property.
Majority Rule / Minority Rights
Laws may be made with the consent of the majority but only to the point where they do not infringe on the inalienable rights of the minority.