The Bill of Rights and Incorporation

Explores incorporation of the Bill of Rights against the states as provided for in the Fourteenth Amendment. Highlights the controversies about incorporation as well as significant incorporation cases.

Who Should Protect Our Fundamental Freedoms?

Clock 50 minutes

The effects of incorporation have been far-reaching and the role of the federal government has been significantly transformed. The basic responsibility of the Federal government to protect fundamental rights has not changed. However, citizens and the courts are still working to determine exactly what those rights are and who should protect them. This lesson examines that question and the debate concerning “Who should protect our fundamental freedoms?”.

Founding Principles

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Federalism

The people delegate certain powers to the national government, while the states retain other powers; and the people, who authorize the states and national government, retain all freedoms not delegated to the governing bodies.

Inalienable / Natural Rights image

Inalienable / Natural Rights

Freedoms which belong to us by nature and can only be justly taken away through due process.

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Limited Government

Citizens are best able to pursue happiness when government is confined to those powers which protect their life, liberty, and property.

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Separation of Powers

A system of distinct powers built into the Constitution to prevent an accumulation of power in one branch.

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