Friday, August 22, 2008

25: Countdown to Constitution Day

Today's Topic: A Quick List of the Twenty-seven Amendments to the US Constitution

  • 1st People have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition, and freedom of religion. 1791.

  • 2nd People have the right to have a weapon to protect themselves. 1791.

  • 3rd Soldiers cannot take or live in a person's house. 1791.

  • 4th The government cannot arrest a person or search their property unless there is "probable cause." 1791.

  • 5th The government must follow the law (due process) before punishing a person. 1791.

  • 6th A person has the right to a fair and speedy trial by a jury. 1791.

  • 7th A person has the right to a jury trial for civil cases. 1791.

  • 8th The government cannot demand excessive bail or fines, or any cruel and unusual punishment. 1791.

  • 9th The Constitution does not include all of the rights of the people and the states. 1791.

  • 10th Any powers that the Constitution does not give to the federal government belong to the states. 1791.

  • 11th Citizens cannot sue states in federal courts. (There are some exceptions). 1795.

  • 12th The President and Vice President are elected on a party ticket. 1804.

  • 13th Slavery is illegal in the United States. 1865.

  • 14th Every person born in the United States is a citizen. An immigrant can become a a naturalized citizen. 1868.

  • 15th All US male citizens have the right to vote. 1870.

  • 16th Congress can tax income. 1913.

  • 17th The people can elect US Senators. 1913.

  • 18th Alcohol is illegal. (Prohibition). 1919.

  • 19th All US female citizens have the right to vote. 1920.

  • 20th The President is inaugurated in January. Congress begins to meet in January. 1933.

  • 21st Alcohol is legal. Each state can make laws about making, selling, and drinking alcohol. 1933.

  • 22nd The President cannot serve for more than two terms. 1951.

  • 23rd The US Citizens in the District of Columbia have the right to vote for President. 1961.

  • 24th It is illegal to make a citizen pay a voting fee. It is illegal to make a citizen take a reading test to vote. 1964.

  • 25th If the president dies or cannot serve, the vice-president becomes president. If both die, the Speaker of the House becomes president. 1967.

  • 26th US citizens who are 18 years old or older have the right to vote. 1971.

  • 27th Congress must limit when and how much its members are paid. 1992.

See one of the coolest multmedia widgets on the web: the NCC Interactive Constitution.

VOANews: American History Series: How the Constitution Came to Life
One cannot truly understand the United States without understanding this document. In the coming weeks we will tell its story. Transcript of radio broadcast: 09 January 2008

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