Declaring Rights Essay

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In Declaring Rights, Jack N. Rakove puts emphasis on the difficulties of developing rights, and the Constitution. Many problems occurred during this time period because of the misunderstanding of what a right literally referred to. In its legal sense, a right was nothing more than a valid title of ownership, especially as it related to real property (Land). As the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries continued, generations began developing their own conceptions of rights due to individual beliefs, and desires of personal equal rights. Throughout this archive, Rakove defines the significance of those rights, there impact on the Constitution, and the society as a whole. In the sixteen and seventeenth centuries, American and British people occupied the thirteen colonies, and defined rights in their own way. Before the changes to the definition of rights, a right was something more than liberty or privileges that the state could offer or revoke. It was literally something that individuals owned. The legal sense of rights states that all other conceptions of rights, such as American views are described as liberty and privileges. The government felt that the Americans rights had distinct power and could be given and taken away by them. The Americans disagreed with the government because they viewed rights as something that was owned indisputably and entitled to them at birth. The British however, believed that they had authority over all rights. According to the British, Liberties and privileges were regarded not as inherent qualities or attributes of individuals, but rather as legal power granted by the crown. The British felt that Parliament was absolute law, and therefore had the power to revoke rights. In 1776, due to the proposal of the Declaration of Rights to William and Mary by Hobbs, the concept of rights begin to change and evolve. In this document,

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