By placing in virginias rst constitution a list of

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Unformatted text preview: the noble concept that the rights of the individual must be protected against the power of government. By placing in Virginia’s first constitution a list of rights that could never be taken away from citizens, Mason sought to ensure a society in which government could not become all-powerful. As a result of his influence, the Bill of Rights, which was based on Mason’s Declaration of Rights, was added to the U.S. Constitution. The universal significance of this action made the American Revolution much more than a war for independence from Great Britain: it enshrined in our most important public document the principle that a government must always respect the rights of the people. Mason, although a slave owner, had deeply conflicting feelings about the institution he called “slow Poison.” His words were later used to demonstrate that slavery could not exist in a country that proclaimed its belief in human rights. In the United States, we have not always adhered to Mason’s great ideas, but they remain the measure of the best in our national life. The University Geor...
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This document was uploaded on 03/01/2014 for the course CRIM 475 at George Mason.

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