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Tyranny Oppression Repression Restriction These descriptors illustrate British rules impact on the colonial population After years of unwarranted invasions unfair taxes and burdensome laws people dreaded the continuing loss of their freedoms A group of 55 men recognized that trepidation and decided to make a bold change In May of 1787 the Constitutional Convention began planning a new government that would protect the people One year later with more than the nine votes required for ratification the Constitution went into effect The Constitution of the United States was written to ease fears stemming from past experiences with Great Britain By delegating separate powers for the legislative judicial and executive branches of government and by ratifying a Bill of Rights the Constitution curtailed governmental tyranny and safeguarded individual freedoms During the Constitutional Convention the question of whether the Constitution should guarantee specific rights of citizens emerged Opponents of these specified additional protections included Alexander Hamilton and James Madison who argued that the Constitution already protected individual liberties The right to obtain writ of habeas corpus and the prohibition of a bill of attainer and ex post facto were a few of those examples Conversely supporters of a Bill of Rights urged individual protection including the states of Massachusetts and Virginia Eventually as James Madison yielded to political pressure from home a Bill of Rights encompassing ten amendments was ratified The Bill of Rights ensured basic liberties and inalienable rights foreign concepts under previous British rule Amendment one which covered the main protections of individual rights granted freedoms of religion speech assembly and petition In colonial times these freedoms didnt exist The oppressive Church of England and colonial traditions such as the Pennsylvania Quakers and the Massachusetts BradfordCarver Puritans restricted religious freedom by applying direct repression and instigating societal prejudice The protections of speech and assembly were in direct response to Britains Coercive Acts which prohibited town meetings and restricted the right to assemble Additionally under British
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