U. S. Government: Democracy In Action

Chapter 13: Constitutional Freedoms

Student Web Activity

"Nationalizing the Bill of Rights"

In this chapter you have learned about constitutional rights and the various freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights&;freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly, to name a few. Today, your rights are protected at both the state and federal level. Nationalization means that citizens who believe that a state or local authority has denied them their basic rights may take their case to a federal court. In this activity you will take a closer look at the nationalization of the Bill of Rights.

Destination Title: The Nationalization of the Bill of Rights: An Overview

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Start at the American Political Science Association's Bicentennial Chronicle.

  • Scroll down the page and click on The Nationalization of the Bill of Rights. Read the essay.

After you have read through the information, answer the following questions.

What does the Fourteenth Amendment have to do with the nationalization of the Bill of Rights?
What was significant about the 1890 Supreme Court case Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad v. Minnesota?
What impact on criminal law did the case Moore v. Dempsey have?
What rights detailed in the Bill of Rights have not been nationalized?
Choose one of the Supreme Court cases mentioned in the essay and conduct additional research about it. To get started, consider such questions as, What is the background of the case? What were the arguments made by each side? What impact did the decision have on society? On a separate sheet of paper, write a one-page essay detailing your findings.
US Government: Democracy In Action
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