This is how to memorize the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights.
The two things you need to know in order to learn how to memorize is to have a place to store the information you are gathering, and to turn that information into pictures that you can associate with what you are memorizing. If you watch this video you can get an idea of what I mean:
What are the Bill of Rights?
- First Amendment — Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Meaning: Congress can not establish a central religion or stop people from worshiping as they please; Establishes freedom of the press, and the right for people to petition the government and form a peaceable assembly.
- Second Amendment — A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Meaning: The government can form a militia for the security of the country, and the people have a right to keep and bear arms.
- Third Amendment — No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Meaning: The government can not take over your house for its troops without your consent in times of peace, and can only do it during wartime according to the law.
Keywords: Protection from quartering of troops.
- Fourth Amendment — The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Meaning: The government can’t enter or take your home without a search warrant issued with probable cause, and specifically describing what they are searching for, and what can be taken.
Keywords: unreasonable search and seizure.
- Fifth Amendment — No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Meaning: Citizen can’t be tried without an indictment by a grand jury. Exceptions: when a person is in the military they will be tried by a military tribunal. A person shall not be forced to testify against himself, tried for the same crime twice when once found innocent, and no property can be taken for public use without just compensation.
- Sixth Amendment — In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Meaning: The accused has a right to a speedy trial where the crime was committed, has the right to be confronted by his accusers, be informed as to what he is being charged with, and has a right to counsel and witnesses for his defense.
- Seventh Amendment — In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Meaning: Citizens have a right to a jury trial in civil matters if they so desire.
Keywords: Civil trial by jury.
- Eighth Amendment — Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Meaning: Fines and bail should not be too high as to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on the accuser.
- Ninth Amendment — The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Meaning: As long as people don’t violate others rights they can’t be prosecuted, and the government can’t take away the fundamental rights of the people as stated in the previous eight amendments.
Keywords: Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
- Tenth Amendment — The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Meaning: Limits the power of the government over the people
Keywords: Powers of States and people.