More than two hundred years ago, the American colonists got ticked off at the way England was jacking them around.Float your mouse
over words in color.
They got so angry they worked up the Declaration of Independence and politely told King George III if he didn't like it, he was welcome to shove it up his Royal Highness. Turned out to be a big freakin' deal.
Our Founding Fathers declared that "all men are created equal" and that their Creator gives them unalienable rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
King George - such a twit - was like "Hey, you can't talk to me like that." But the colonists weren't about to back down.
Next thing you know, they were at war against England which, by the way, happened to have the biggest, baddest army going. Now here's the cool part: Over the next few years, the Americans laid a can of Ye Olde Whup-Ass on KG III and his Redcoats. We've been free folk ever since.
The Founding Fathers realized they needed rules for how the new government should work - that's our Constitution.
They borrowed ideas from England, ancient Greece and Rome, and from French philosophers of their own day.
One of the most radical things they decided was this: We need to protect ourselves against... (you are not gonna believe this)...against our own government.
They started with a list of special freedoms and called it the "Bill of Rights." These are the first ten amendments of our Constitution. We've added 17 since then. We can add more in the future.
If that's not impressive enough for you, there's even an amendment that says just because a freedom isn't mentioned in the Constitution, that doesn't mean we don't have it.