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The us Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known. They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of legislative articles, and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791, through the process of ratification by three-fourths of the States.

The Bill of Rights is a series of limitations on the power of the United States Federal government, protecting the natural rights of liberty and property including freedom of speech, a free press, free assembly, and free association. In federal criminal cases, it requires indictment by a grand jury for any capital or "infamous crime", guarantees a speedy, public trial with an impartial jury composed of members of the state or judicial district in which the crime occurred, and prohibits double jeopardy. In addition, the Bill of Rights reserves for the people any rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution and reserves all powers not specifically granted to the federal government to the people or the States. Most of these restrictions on the Federal government were later applied to the states by a series of legal decisions applying the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868.

Delegates to the Philadelphia Convention on September 12, 1787 debated whether to include a Bill of Rights in the body of the U.S. Constitution, and an agreement to create the Bill of Rights helped to secure ratification of the Constitution itself.

Twelve articles were proposed to the States, but only the last ten articles were ratified in the 18th Century, corresponding to the First through Tenth Amendments. The proposed first Article, dealing with the number and apportionment of U.S. Representatives, never became part of the Constitution. The second Article, limiting the power of Congress to increase the salaries of its members, was ratified two centuries later as the 27th Amendment.

The Bill of Rights plays a key role in American law and government, and remains a vital symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation.

The State Structure of the usa

The city of Washington, in the District of Columbia along the Potomac River, is the capital of a federal union of 50 states. When the United States declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776, there were 13 original states. In 1789 they adopted a new Constitution establishing a federal union under a strong central government.

Under the Constitution, the federal government is divided into three branches, each chosen in a different manner, each able to check and balance the others.

The Executive Branch is headed by the President, who, together with the Vice President, is chosen in nationwide elections every four years. The President proposes bills to Congress, enforces federal laws, serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and, with the approval of the Senate makes treaties and appoints federal laws, ambassadors and other members of the Executive Departments. Each Cabinet head holds the title of Secretary and together they form a council called the Cabinet. The Vice President, elected from the same political party as the President, acts as chairman of the Senate, and in the event of the death or disability of the President, assumes the Presidency for the balance of his term.

The Legislative Branch is made up of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both houses must approve a bill for it to become law, but the President may veto or refuse to sign it. If so, Congress reconsiders the bill. If two thirds of the members of both houses then approve it, the bill becomes law even without the President’s signature.

The Judicial Branch is made up of Federal District Courts, 11 Federal Courts of Appeals and, at the top, the Supreme Court. Federal judges are appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate; to minimize political influences, their appointments are for life. Federal courts decide cases involving federal law, conflicts between states or between citizens of different states.

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