preview

Bill Of Rights Vs Amendment

Good Essays
A Bill of Rights versus an Amendment Although the original ten Amendments of The Constitution are often referred to as the Bill of Rights, there are important differences between an amendment and a bill of rights. The purpose of this paper is to define a bill of rights and an amendment, and then to clarify their differences.
Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary Online (1828) defines a bill of rights as “A summary of fundamental rights and privileges guaranteed to a people against violation by the state—used especially of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution.” A bill of rights is a law that protects the rights listed within it from abuse by government or any higher power. The first use of a bill of rights in American
…show more content…
One of the differences between a bill of rights and an amendment is that a bill of rights can exist on its own, while an amendment cannot. An amendment is only an amendment if it is added into a preexisting document or law. A bill of rights is a list of people’s rights, whether it is listed within the main body of a document or within an amendment, such as in The Constitution (Merriam-Webster, 1828). Another difference is that a bill of rights must contain actual rights to be a bill of rights, whereas an amendment can contain any extra information deemed necessary. Both were initially used by Americans in the Constitution to secure the future of American government, but each served a different purpose. The Confederation Congress used a bill of rights to preserve the people’s fiercely desired personal rights, while they used amendments to correct any errors or to edit federal laws and bills as necessary. The Constitution had to adapt to “changing economic and social conditions” (Thompson, 1913, p. 17), and this is exactly the flexibility the Amendments…show more content…
An amendment is an addition to a preexisting document that can alter or add to the document. The differences between an amendment and a bill of rights are the information they contain and their purpose. A bill of rights is intended to protect people’s rights from government intrusion, as its name suggests. An amendment is intended to adapt laws and documents to suit the economy, and most importantly the people as evolving culture and society dictates. Both of these concepts are designed to help people live better lives alongside their government by protecting rights of individuals and the ability to adapt outdated laws to suit their
Get Access