How did the 4th Amendment come about?


How did the 4th Amendment come about?

The 4th Amendment:

The 4th Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights that were written in 1789 and ratified in 1791. The amendment states, in full:

''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.''

Answer and Explanation:

The 4th Amendment came about as a result of the British use of general warrants to harass and silence political opponents.

Prior to the Revolutionary War, the messengers for the Crown could get a warrant to search any person without cause and used those powers for political ends. This action prompted an outcry from the colonists, most famously from John Otis, who challenged such writs in a Boston Court and lost. In response, Madison crafted the 4th Amendment so that such activities needed to show probable cause.

Learn more about this topic:

The Fourth Amendment: Search & Seizure


Chapter 3 / Lesson 3

What is the Fourth Amendment, also known as, "the search and seizure amendment"? Understand the meaning of 4th Amendment, the rights the amendment protects, and view 4th Amendment examples.

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