Instructor C. Stefanik
Research Paper Session 2
The U.S Constitution and the U.S. Bill of Rights
The Founding Fathers wanted America to be a better country than the United Kingdom. They were aware of the cruelty in Old Europe and the thirteen colonies. Their belief to have a Constitution which makes America a better country than Europe is the profound cause for this document. The Founding Fathers considered many causes for it, but due to the limitation of this text, it narrows down to the profound aspects of religion, government and rights. In Old Europe the church was the center of life and influenced the government. Moreover, rights were insufficient, ...view middle of the document...
Because more or less everyone was religious and believed that the favor of the Church would help to have a better life, it could use is power to influence people. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages was rich, had its own lands, and could impose taxes. Moreover, people could give gifts to the church for special favors (Alchin). Due to its wealth the Catholic Church was also able to have a serious influence on the government, then in form of the King. The King enacted laws and bans with Catholic bishops as consultants who advised what was right or wrong, and if it was with the blessing of God (Datesman 53). The powers the Catholic Church could gain were reason for Founding Fathers separating it from the government.
In the early 16th century, a new religious movement broke away from the Catholic Church due to differences in beliefs. Protestants believe that forgiveness cannot be granted by the pope and priests, but through seeking it alone directly from God (Datesman 53). As a result of this core difference, Martin Luther established the Protestant denomination after a long struggle. The Protestants denominations were disregarded by the Catholic Church. During the 1600s, disdain among the different religious groups was enormous, and Protestant dominations were the objects of persecution, sometimes even killed because of their beliefs (Datesman 53). America should be the land where religious persecution will not exist; therefore, the Founding Fathers declared in the Bill of Rights Article I, that in America everyone has freedom of religion and can exercise it (see Appendix 1).
Monarchy in England: The Magna Carta and the 1689 Bill of Rights
During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church, the monarchy and the nobility competed for power and influence. From 1500 on, the monarchy seemed to be the winner of this power struggle. But at some times it was the loser, such as when King John I ruled (Thackeray 19). He ruled cruelly, lost battles and was seen as the worst king. After fourteen years of outrageous reign, the nobility gathered and expressed their unhappiness with King John (Thackeray 21). The barons forced him to sign the Magna Carta to curb his abuse of the crown (Lock 540). The Magna Carta was written by archbishop of Canterbury Stephen, William Marescall, and the Earl of Pembroke. It is a document with enormous importance for Britainâ€˜s political system. The document consisted of 63 clauses and referred to a large number to King Johnâ€˜s misdeeds (Thackeray). The Magna Carta also declared that the King is only allowed to enact laws with the consent of the Parliament (Thackeray 20; von Flocken). This paragraph again mentions an important cause, the power of the nobility class. To avoid this power of influence, the Founding Fathers decided that nobility class would be prohibited by Article 1 Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution.
The 1689 Bill of Rights was a consequence of the disastrous reign of King James II, originated from the Magna...