Using the information provided in this module, I want you all to briefly review and refresh your understanding of the Bill of Rights, comprising of the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. While it’s easy to take a stance of “The actions of the (federal) government don’t really affect me”, the BoR absolutely impacts our lives on a daily basis, so much so that there is likely not a single document within the history of the United States that has comparable impact. A couple of key points that you should keep in mind.
The Bill of Rights (BoR) is one of the critical compromises that allowed our nation to form with all thirteen colonies as members. Members of the Anti-Federalist party (headed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson to name a few) argued that a federal government would be too strong and could lead to tyrannical oversight. Therefore, the Federalist party agreed to allow the Anti-Federalists to pen ten amendments that would be ratified alongside the United States Constitution.
This was huge at the time. Though the idea of a limited government is commonplace today, at the time the greatest powers in the western (and eastern for the most part) world were hemmed by absolute monarchs or systems in which the ruling person or body was extremely powerful. The idea that a president for instance could simply be voted out and that rule would change hands often without violence was pretty radical.
All of the rights in the BoR are negative rights. You should recognize this term from your text at this point as well as understanding that these rights specifically state that the government cannot act in a certain way. Keep this in mind because….
I want you, for the purposes of this discussion paper, to draft an 11th amendment that you feel should be included with the original ten of the BoR. This is a “research paper” (Gasp!) in the sense that you should devise a premise (I think that the 11th amendment should have mentioned that the government must not do ___ ), support your premise with rhetoric (logical argumentation that explains why your premise is valid) and external sources (research articles, statistics). The format of the essay should contain these elements:
A very very brief overview of the BoR. You could literally cite the document itself. Don’t waste a lot of time on this.
A proposed amendment
Support for the amendment (your own rationale, lived experiences and external sources)
Discuss how this will actually impact you/us and why you thought that, out of any possible amendment, this was the one to go for
Try not to overthink this one too much. A solid page and a half or two pages should be very sufficent to cover those points. Please use APA style throughout the paper (double spaced, 12pt font, TNR, in text and bibliographical citations in APA format). So long as you make a good faith effort and include all of the grading criteria you should have a solid grade to boost you up!
Paper is logical, reasonable and is on topic.
The proposed amendment is both in line with the other amendments (negative right, focused on the government) and also reasonable in nature (as neat as ending world hunger would be, it’s probably beyond the scope of the United States Federal Government, for example).
Paper is formatted in APA style and contains both in-text citations and a bibliography.
Two external sources are used at minimum.
The page length is at least one and a half pages, double spaced in standard APA style.