History And Process Of The 5th Amendment Norwich University/ History Research Paper

2906 words - 12 pages

History and Process of the 5th Amendment
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History and Process of the 5th Amendment
History and Process of the 5th Amendment
In May of 1787, fifty-five delegates met in Philadelphia to fix the Articles of Confederation. Many delegates thought the Articles of Confederation could not be corrected; therefore, they decided to write a constitution which was completed in the next four months (Armentrout 14). In September of 1787, the Constitution was signed by thirty-nine of the fifty-five delegates. The delegates agreed to have the Constitution take effect after nine of the thirteen colonies approved it (Amar 7). They sent the Constitution to Congress, who reviewed it and sent it to the states to begin the ratification process (Armentrout 20). In December of 1787, Delaware was the first state to approve it. On June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire was the ninth state to approve it, the Constitution came into effect (Amar 7). Some men had not signed the Constitution because they felt that it should include a bill of rights. Other men signed with the understanding that a bill of rights would be added soon. Six of the nine states attached a list of proposed amendments to their approval of the Constitution. The Constitution increased the power of the federal government but did not protect individual rights (Armentrout 20). The government was responsible to provide these individual protections.
Edmund Randolph and George Mason, delegates to the Constitutional Convention, fought for a bill of rights to be added to the Constitution. They wanted every American to be guaranteed their fundamental freedoms (Amar 8). The first Congress realized the need for a bill of rights. James Madison proposed amendments to the Constitution that were based from Virginia's Declaration of Rights by George Mason (Armentrout 22). On December 20, 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to James Madison outlining the importance of a bill of rights saying that “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.” (Jefferson). Congress debated and changed many amendments.
Congress agreed on twelve amendments that they sent to the states for ratification, ten of which were approved by the states. On December 15, 1791, these amendments, called the Bill of Rights, became a permanent part of the Constitution (Armentrout 23). The responsibility of the government to provide individual rights was fulfilled and the Fifth Amendment had been set in place.
The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights reads, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be...

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