Essay The Bill Of Rights Of The United States Constitution

1049 Words Dec 6th, 2016 5 Pages
During the ratification debates of the US Constitution, there was conversation over the necessity of a bill of rights to define people’s rights and limit the government’s powers. Many federalists believed such a bill of rights would not only be unnecessary, but would weaken the constitution and the people, and give the government powers they should have. Noah Webster, Alexander Hamilton, and James Wilson each make arguments against a bill of rights. Webster argues that a bill of rights may be irrelevant in future generations, but people will be reluctant to change or add to it. Hamilton believes that the bill of rights is unnecessary because the constitution itself is in terms a bill of rights. Wilson and the others all argue most that the bill of rights undermines the idea of a constitution of enumerated powers, which means the power of the people are included in the writing of the constitution. They believe a bill of rights will lead to a government which can regulate anything the bill of rights does not protect.
In Giles Hickory, Noah Webster most extensively argues that a bill of rights does not make sense to limit our own legislatures. Webster believes a bill of rights is perfectly rational “ solemn declarations of right against the encroachments of a foreign jurisdiction” (Webster 1). He goes on to argue “if they are considered as barriers against the encroachments of our own Legislatures ... I venture to pronounce them nugatory…” (Webster 1). The distinction…

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