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The Bill of Rights and Amendments to Constitution of the USA: Critical Analysis

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The political philosophy of the Constitution has gone through a roller coaster of development and change. It has introduced a better central government however because the government was so strong the Bill of rights was implemented to secure individual rights the people. Many factors have contributed to the development of the Constitution after its ratification and adoption of the Bill of Rights which were seen through the Constitutional Amendments, interpretation in federal court decisions, legislation at the state or federal level and general political debate about the role and power of the federal government.

The Amendments of the Constitution were needed in order to change the Constitution. The Amendments gave individual rights to people that were protected by the Federal Government. The Bill of rights gave the US government the first 10 amendments in the constitution. Ever since, to get a new amendment passed, it needs to reach a two thirds majority from the House of Representatives and the Senate (article V). After gaining these rights through the Bill of Rights it is much easier for Amendments to created. The people have more individual rights to speak up and have their voices be heard to the government. Moreover, the amendments created before did help many people in American society however, when it came to colored people it almost did nothing to help African Americans and foreign individuals. Due to this the creation of the 13-15th amendments were created to abolish slavery (amendment 13) and give newly free African Americans the same equal rights of white individuals (amendment 14-15). The effects of the original ten amendments led to 17 more amendments being created in order to give minorities the same rights given to African American and white US citizens. Because of the ratification and adoption of Bill of rights Constitutional Amendments have changed and become more applicable to the diverse American population rather than what it was meant for to a certain color of individuals.

The Amendments of the Constitution were needed in order to change the Constitution. The Amendments gave individual rights to people that were protected by the Federal Government however women did not get these so-called rights. Women had disadvantage because they were, they opposite gender. They automatically did not have the same rights as men and had their own responsibilities such as taking care of the children, cook, and clean. Women were seen as property (DBQ#13 Doc13) and although these amendments promised rights for individuals, they really promised these political rights to men. Furthermore, women were just seen as an object almost in comparison to how people back then viewed slaves when it came to political power. This can also be seen in letters going back and forth between John Adams and His wife Abigail Adams (DBQ#13 Doc.1,2). Abigail Adams wants her husband to treat her with more respect and understand that there is no such thing as unlimited power when it comes from a man. Although this statement was very inspirational and bold it ultimately led to her backlash. John Adams responded by making fun of his wife saying that she has no rights and does not have the right to tell him what a man could do. This is further significant because women were always inferior to men in everything they did. Although this was a downside of the Constitution for not including those rights for women early on in those amendment’s, slowly it began to take a turn and women protested for those rights and the 19th amendment passed allowing women the right to final vote. This just shows that the constitution slowly began to develop by adding new amendments which strengthened gender individual rights.

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The Constitution developed after the ratification and the adoption of Bill of Rights through the federal court decisions. The federal court system before the introduction of many of the amendments now present today was very twisted and unfair. In the Dred Scott vs Sanford case, Dred Scott sued for his freedom. He wanted to be free because he claimed that since he stayed in the Northern portion of Louisiana for 4 years that he should be deemed the right to be free. The court however did not agree with him because they did not identify him as a citizen rather, he was identified as property. A similar court case can be seen with the same outcome which was the Plessy v Fergusson case. Plessy refused to give up his seat in a train that was segregated to whites only. Since he was 1/8 black, he was unable to ride and refused to leave his seat which lead him to get jail time. Plessy went up against the Louisiana law that required separation between blacks and whites on trains and cars.

His case overall did not end in his favor and the supreme court pulled constitutionally segregation laws that if they are segregated but equal it was ok for them to keep doing this. the first 10 congressional amendments listed realistically helped white Americans rather than ethnic American people. During this time period federal court cases like the Dred Scott vs Sanford and Plessy v Fergusson did not get the justice it needed. Due to many cases like the Dred Scott vs Sanford case not receiving equal rights in comparison to white American people, the constitution has passed down amendments that protect the rights of ethnic people and minorities. The changes in the federal court today has made huge progress in allowing ethnic individuals to a fair trial.

The Constitution developed substantially after the ratification and the adoption of Bill of Rights through state laws. States have their own laws within the state that people living in the state must abide to just like the US people living in the country must abide to the country’s rules. The constitution gave these rights to states because states are sovereign establishments meaning that each state has its own right to make laws and manage them according to their satisfaction. This can be in comparison to the Indian Reservations where state and tribal laws are implemented. The Indian reservations can be seen as a small little city that can make their own laws just like states however, they are restricted to smaller land given to them by the government. However, this was not always the case. Many Indians in the 1820s were forced to sign treaties that exchanged their land for money and designated observations until later in the 1830s military was involved and personally kicked them out of the area (DBQ#11 Doc 1). Congress and the Bill of rights made huge strides in protecting individual rights for the people and having a strong central government however, ethnic groups like the Native Americans did not get the same treatment as “real citizens” of the US they were just seen as another group living in the Americas (DBQ#11 Doc 2). State laws have further made progress after the ratification in that it slowly gave rights to Native Americans by having them be able to regulate their traditions and laws in the land that they were given. Many Native Americans have used this as opportunities to build industries and businesses that help benefit them today. This is seen similar to state laws because state laws have their own system of government and law making while the native Americans can apply their law making and traditions to their own Native American Reserves.

After the Constitution ratified and the adoption of Bill of Rights passed the general political debate about role and power of federal government still occurred. The constitution and the Bill of rights were both implemented in order to keep a balance of power for the government and the people. The ongoing debate that kept occurring was the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. This could also be seen as Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian Ideologies where one group believed that a strong central government was absolute and can function on its own where the other believes in the rights of people and what they can say in acts against the government. This debate has slowly dwindled down however many people still believe that the power of the federal government should be one way or the other. This can currently be seen in the rights vs left debate where republicans favor tradition and want to resort back to the old times whereas democrats are wanting constant change to benefit their country. Although the powers of government are balanced out these political parties want to control these governments to have more of their political say rather than the others. They want to be able to make the changes they want in a government.

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The Bill of Rights and Amendments to Constitution of the USA: Critical Analysis. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
“The Bill of Rights and Amendments to Constitution of the USA: Critical Analysis.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
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