December 15, 1791 marks the most momentous day
in human history. On that day, the first ten amendments
to the then-new United States Constitution were
ratified, placing severe limits -- for the first
time in in thousands of years -- on the power
of government over the individual.
Those amendments are commonly called the Bill
of Rights. Despite what lawyers, judges, politicians,
and policemen would prefer that you believe to
the contrary, they are the highest law of the
land. They are the result of a compromise agreement
between two distinct groups within the ranks of
America's Founding Fathers, the Federalists, led
by Alexander Hamilton, who wanted a "strong
central government" and, led by Thomas Jefferson
and Patrick Henry, the Anti-Federalists, who didn't.