Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Favorite Amendment?

else...if Why Slashdot was right to leave out XIII and XIX (1005 comments)

A lot of people have suggested that the thirteenth and nineteenth amendments (abolition of slavery and women's sufferage, respectively) should have been included. After some thought, I think their actually, at least in one sense, less important than, say, the first and fifth.

The thing is, every modern liberal democracy (that's the political science use of liberal, by the way) has an equivalent to the thirteenth and nineteenth amendments. Every western European nation has ended slavery and given women the right to vote, along with Australia, Canada, along with most (all?) of Central and South America and even most of the democracies in Africa and Asia.

The first and fifth amendments, among others, however, are essentially unique. The European nations don't have a first amendment, and in fact do a number of things which in the US would be considered to infringe on free speech. To give one example, England's libel laws are brutally tough, enough so that they are a definite limitation on open discussion. There are plenty of others.

The fifth amendment (my personal favorite) is similar. That included the vastly underused prohibition on eminent domain; i.e. the government can't take your property without paying for it. It also has due process rights and others.

Most other countries don't have the bill of rights, or anything resembling it, and in many ways they probably suffer for it (at least in my opinion). It's probably the Bill of Rights, more than anything else, which makes the United States unique.

So, while the abolition of slavery and women's sufferage are certainly great and important amendments, it's probably safe to say that they aren't special. If they hadn't been passed when they were, they would have been passed some time later. That's not true with most of the Bill of Rights.

more than 12 years ago


else...if hasn't submitted any stories.


else...if has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?