Citizenship

Rights and Responsibilities

When you become a citizen, you gain all of the rights and responsibilities that are granted in the U.S. Constitution. It's important to know the difference between these two terms, as they mean very different things. Rights are powers that you are entitled to. Responsibilities are obligations that someone can be held accountable for. When becoming a citizen, you gain many different rights, but you also gain just as many responsibilities to uphold.

Five Most Important Rights

We are given many different rights when we become a U.S. citizen, but here are 5 of the most important citizen rights granted to us (In my opinion).


  • The right to no cruel or unusual punishment

This right is very important, as it keeps our justice system in check by keeping them from issuing punishment to those who don't deserve it. Punishment is how we keep our citizens in line. It's why we don't wish to commit crime. So obviously punishment is necessary for a country to survive, and this bill is how we can maintain the idea of punishment without getting rid of it altogether.

  • Right to a speedy trial

The right to a speedy trial means that we can get put on trial as soon as possible with an impartial jury. Without this right, evidence that may be used for said trials could get old or may change, so having the trial as soon as possible helps keep them fair and accurate.

  • Regulated search and seizure

Many Americans try to protect their privacy, and without this right, we wouldn't be protected from unregulated searches. Without this, out house could be looked throw without us even knowing about it, so it's a good thing we have it.

  • Right to vote

Voting is the easiest way for our voice to be heard at the governmental level. If we didn't have the right to vote, the decisions made by the government would be completely out of our control.

  • Freedom of Speech

The first amendment (which also includes freedom of religion, press and petition) is a big one. It means that the government doesn't have control over what we say or believe, and it gives us the liberty to think however we please.

Five Most Important Citizen Responsibilities

Along with rights, every U.S. citizen has a good amount of responsibilities that they must stay on top of. Here are my 5 most important citizen responsibilities.

  • To Support and Defend the Constitution

The Constitution is the framework of our government, and should be supported by the citizens of the U.S.. This responsibility could also be called respect the government, as the that's basically what is being asked of the citizens with this responsibility.

  • To Defend the Country When Needed

When it comes time to defend our country, we need a force to defend with. This responsibility means that U.S. citizens should be able to be counted on to help defend the country when the time comes.

  • Serve on a Jury When Called Upon

Juries are very important for trials, as it provides a group of impartial people to help decide on the case. When you are called upon to serve on jury duty, it is your responsibility to show up and participate.

  • Respect Others

Having respect for others is necessary for having a successful and happy society. It is very important to respect other people's rights, beliefs and opinions.

  • Obey All Laws

No matter if they are federal, state or local laws, it is your responsibility to obey them. The laws are put in place to help keep us safe, and disobeying them causes lots of trouble for both you and others.