The 1st and 10th Amendments
Establishing freedoms and powers
The 1st Amendment
The first amendment to the United States Constitution gives the people the freedom of religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. These freedoms can not be withheld from any American. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
When the Constitution was first signed, it did not contain the essential freedoms that the Bill of Rights outlines now. This amendment was written because Americans wanted a guarantee of their basic freedoms. Without this amendment, religious minorities could be persecuted, the government could establish a national religion, protesters would be silenced, and the press could not criticize government.
The 10th Amendment
10th Amendment Facts
The 10th Amendment is the last amendment in the Bill of Rights. James Madison wrote this amendment in 1789. This amendment states that the powers that the government does not receive from the Constitution go to the states and the people (not including the powers excluded from the states). The founding fathers did not want America's government to end up like the British government. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."