Skip to main content

428 resources available

Timeline

This timeline provides milestones in the women’s rights movement.

Timeline

This timeline provides milestones in U.S. history as voting rights have evolved.

Timeline

The 20th Amendment moves the start of the president’s new term from March 4 to January 20. It also provides for succession plans if the newly elected president of vice president is unable to assume his or her position.

Timeline

The Fifth Amendment is ratified in 1791. The amendment contains a clause that says private property shall not be taken by the government for public use without just compensation.

Timeline

The 10th Amendment says that the federal government has only those powers specifically granted by the Constitution. These powers include the power to declare war, to collect taxes, to regulate interstate business activities and others that are listed in the articles. Any power not listed is left to the states or the people.

Timeline

This timeline provides milestones in the history of Social Security.

Timeline

The suffrage movement leads to Congress’ approval of the 19th Amendment, which reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Timeline

The 24th Amendment eliminates the poll tax, a state fee on voting. Poll taxes were used to keep low-income citizens from participating in elections.

Timeline

In 1971, the 26th Amendment is added to the Constitution, permanently lowering the voting age for all elections to 18.

Timeline

The Seventh Amendment extends the right to a jury trial to federal civil cases such as car accidents, disputes between corporations for breach of contract, or most discrimination or employment disputes.

Timeline

The Sixth Amendment provides many protections and rights to a person accused of a crime. One right is to have his or her case heard by an impartial jury—independent people from the surrounding community who are willing to decide the case based only on the evidence.

Timeline

The Third Amendment is intended to protect citizens’ rights to the ownership and use of their property without intrusion by the government.

Timeline

The right of due process has grown in two directions: It affords individuals a right to a fair process (known as procedural due process) and a right to enjoy certain fundamental liberties without governmental interference (known as substantive due process). The Fifth Amendment’s due process clause applies to the federal government’s conduct. In 1868 the adoption of the 14th Amendment expanded the right of due process to include limits on the actions of state governments.

Timeline

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.

Timeline

The Sixth Amendment right to “be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation” is another protection meant to ensure that the accused receives a fair trail. A speedy, public trial that is heard by an impartial jury is meaningless if a defendant is left in the dark about exactly the crime with which he or she is charged.

Timeline

The Sixth Amendment guarantees a criminal defendant the right to have an attorney defend him or her at trial. That right is not dependent on the defendant’s ability to pay an attorney; if a defendant cannot afford a lawyer, the government is required to provide one. The right to counsel is more than just the right to have an attorney physically present at criminal proceedings. The assistance provided by the attorney must be effective.

Timeline

Without this right, criminal defendants could be held indefinitely under a cloud of unproven criminal accusations. The right to a speedy trial also is crucial to ensuring that a criminal defendant receives a fair trial. If too much time elapses between the alleged crime and the trial, witnesses may die or leave the area, their memories may fade, and physical evidence may be lost.

Timeline

The Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures by government officials. A search can mean everything from a frisking by a police officer to a blood test to a search of an individual’s home or car. A seizure occurs when the government takes control of an individual or something in his or her possession.

Timeline

This provision of the Fifth Amendment protects a person from being forced to reveal to the police, prosecutor, judge, or jury any information that might subject him or her to criminal prosecution.