The articles of confederation were used for governance; in the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia the constitution was written. 12 states were represented by their delegates; the constitution changed the system into federalism where states were federal. Each state had its system of governance but was linked together by a national government. Once the federal government was established, individuals wanted more protection of their rights and freedom. James Madison during a process of constitutional ratification proposed that an aspect of the bill of rights to be introduced into the American constitution. The bill of rights gives limits to what those on power and the citizens can do (Sunstein, 2009). The bill of rights was important in that some state like North Carolina refused to accept the constitution until the bill of rights were included. The acceptance and refusal of the constitution created two blocks, one for Federalists and the other for antifederalists. The rhetorical analysis below will focus on the founding documents of the current constitution and the bill of rights governing Americans today.
The Legislature – Article one
This was the first article in the American constitution. The Congress of the USA was vested with all powers to govern the legislature, which was composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate as indicated in section 1 (N.D, “Constitution…”). People are elected by members of a particular state for two years, and the elected must have a minimum of 25 years of age. The contestant needs to be an American citizen for at least seven years and belong to the state they are representing, as shown in clauses one to three of section 2. From article section, three from clause one to seven the constitution founding document explains about the Senate. It states that each state shall have two senators chosen from the legislature to serve a six years term and has a single vote. The Senators are classified into first, second and third classes, who are vacated at the expiration of second, fourth and sixth year respectively. The fourth section of the first article stipulates the election dates of both senators and the members of House of Representatives. It also states the dates when the Congress shall hold their meeting that is the first Monday of the month of December. Section 5 and 6 talks about who is to administer elections in their states and about the compensation of senators and, members of House of Representatives respectively. Section seven talks about revenue raising whose bills originate from the House of Representatives. In section 8 the Congress is mandated on tax collection procedures.
The executive- article two
This segment states that the President shall be vested with powers, together with the vice president for four years term. In section one clause one to eight, the procedure for electing an American president to the point of affirmation before resuming office is stipulated. At clause 8 of the second article section, one she/he takes the oath of the mandate. In the second section of clauses one to four, the functions and sources of powers of the American President are states. Article two last part of it, the impeachment of the president, vice president and other civil servants is explained.
The judiciary- article three
This article established both the supreme and the inferior courts. The judicial system powers are vested in the Supreme Court. The court was mandated to listen and pass verdict to cases involving civilians and holders of public offices. The only cases that the judiciary is not mandated to handle are the one concerning impeachment, for instance, the presidential impeachment. Treason cases listen, and the verdict is passed by the Congress, as indicated in Section 3 clauses two.
The states- article four
The article in Section one states that each state in American union shall be given full faith, they shall be entitled to judicial hearing whole procedure will be set by the Congress. Section two in the first clause, states that citizens from all the states are entitled to same privileges including the immunity. The third clause states that committing a crime in one state and fleeing to another, will not offer protection. They suspected criminal should be taken to the state the committed whatever crime as stated in the constitution and shall be prosecuted accordingly. Section three states that only Congress is mandated to admit a new state into the Union. No state has the power to form the new state within the union and no two or more states in the union can merge to form a state.
The amendment process- article five
For a constitutional amendment process to be acceptable, a two-thirds majority of the houses shall be in support. The amendment shall also be deemed right if the two third majorities from the states within the union apply to the Congress.
The legal status of the Constitution- Article six
The constitution recognized all the contracts entered and the accumulated debts of states that they shall be valid even after the adoption of the new constitution as indicated in the first clause. All states are entitled to for their laws under the constitution and that the judges should promote their rulings as stated in the clause.
Signatures- article seven
This is the last article in the founding paper of the Constitution before the bill of rights was introduced. The article states that “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same” (N.D, “Constitution…” ) as indicate in the opening of article seven.
The bill of rights
The bill of rights is composed of 27 amendments since it was adopted. The first amendment allows constitutional processes that don’t hinder people to meet and worship peacefully (Schwartz, 1992). The second and third amendment talks about rights of soldiers and citizens to bear weapons. Amendment four to eight states the constitutional process and right as suspects of a given crime and fair hearing by the jury (N.D, “Bill of Rights.”). The 12th amendment talks about the procedure of voting that each state need to adhere to. In the clauses within amendments, 13 to 15 persons who can vote are states. The remaining amendments have been covered in the constitution of the number of terms a president should hold office and the issues of the deportation of individuals; to their states and fair judicial hearing and the taxation procedures.
Both the constitution and the bill of right governs the American people, the bill of right ensure that American are enjoying their citizenship without impediments or fear. The seven articles and the 27 amendments to the constitutions and the bill of rights respectively ensure that America runs smoothly considering that it is comprised of many states. The founding documents laid basis on the current constitution and bill of rights.
N.D, “Constitution – Bill of Rights Institute.” Bill of Rights Institute. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <https://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/constitution/>.
N.D, “Bill of Rights.” Bill of Rights. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/billofrights>.
Sunstein, Cass R. A Constitution of many minds: why the founding document doesn’t mean what it meant before. Princeton University Press, 2009.
Schwartz, Bernard. The great rights of mankind: A history of the American Bill of Rights. Rowman & Littlefield, 1992.
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