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The law is the set of rules that we live by. The Constitution is the highest
law. It belongs to the United States. It belongs to all Americans.
The Constitution says how the government works. It creates the Presidency.
It creates the Congress. It creates the Supreme Court.
The Constitution lists some key rights. Rights are things that all people have
just because they are alive. By listing the rights, they are made special. They
are made safe. The Bill of Rights is a part of the Constitution. The Bill of
Rights lists many rights of the people.
The Constitution was written in 1787. Yes, it is over 200 years old. We
actually have old copies of what was created. We have pictures of the Constitution on this site.
In 1787, a group of men met to write the Constitution. They did not like the
way the country was going. They fixed it by creating the Constitution. We call
these men The Framers.
Some of the framers are very famous. George Washington was a Framer. So was Ben
The Framers met in Independence Hall during a hot summer in Philadelphia. They
had a lot of arguments. In the end, they agreed to the words in the
Constitution. They knew they had to agree. If they did not agree, the fighting
would keep going.
After the Framers wrote the Constitution, they asked the states to approve
it. It took some time, but all the states did approve it.
Some people did not like the Constitution. Some were afraid because it did
not do enough to protect the rights of the people. It had no bill, or list, of
Promises were made to add a bill of rights. After the Constitution passed, the
Bill of Rights was added. The Bill of Rights is the first ten changes to the
The Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights is very important. It protects important ideas. It protects
your right to say what you want. It lets you think for yourself. It keeps the
laws from being too hard. It gives rules for the police.
It lets you believe in God if you want. No one can tell you not to believe. It
lets you gather with your friends to talk. It makes sure you can read
The Bill of Rights also protects your home. It helps keep Americans safe.
Today, we are very happy the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution.
The Constitution is not perfect. When it was written, they knew that it
would have to be improved. The Framers added a way to make changes. This is
The Bill of Rights was actually added as a set of amendments. The
Constitution has been changed 18 times since it was written. The amendments
added things that the Framers didn't think of.
One amendment says that all black men can vote. Another says that all women
can vote. One more says that the President can only be elected twice.
The first amendments, the Bill of Rights, were added in 1791. The last
amendment was added in 1992. Lots of people have ideas for new amendments.
Adding an amendment is hard — it takes lots of agreement. Maybe you have
a good idea for a change to the Constitution.
How it all works
The Constitution sets up the government. It is split into three parts.
One part is the Congress. The Congress makes laws. The people elect the members
The next part is the President. The President enforces the laws.
The last part is the Courts. The courts decide what the law means when there
All of the parts have to work together. Just like the Framers agreed on the
Constitution, the parts have to agree on the laws. No part has too much power.
The power is shared. This helps protect the people.