American Citizen Rights and Responsibilities

There are countries where people don’t have that many rights. They may be imprisoned for giving their opinion.

American citizens have very many rights; for example, the freedom of speech, and the U.S. Bill of Rights is protecting these freedoms.

To make this work well, Americans must partake in government. Adults citizens may be participating by voting, serving on juries, and paying taxes. Also, citizens can obey laws or be working on changing unfair laws.

One way of asking their governments to make some changes is through writing a petition. These citizens will write their ideas or thoughts in a petition and will ask other civilians to read it.

If people agree with the ideas, they can sign the petition, and when many people have signed the petition, the concerned citizens will hand it over to their government. There are times that these petitions will lead to new laws.

All U.S. citizens have the responsibility to treat other people as well as their rights with respect.

Why do we vote?

In 1787, our founding fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution. They didn’t want any dictatorship and were turning the United States into a democracy. In democracies, citizens have the power to elect their leaders, and in the United States, the people vote for those representatives that are sharing their ideas.

Consequently, these representatives will make decisions and laws for the nation. Voting belongs to the most important rights of a country’s citizens, but it also represents a responsibility.

When the U.S. started out, only white men were allowed to vote. Women, American Indians, and African Americans had to work for many years to win their right to vote. Now, all U.S. citizens 18 years of age and older have voting rights (In some states, however, the privilege to vote can be taken away for a felony).

The 2000 presidential election showed how each and everyone’s vote matters. In Florida, at that election, only a couple of hundred votes were deciding who was to become President.

The election was so very close that all the votes needed to be counted again and again. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that George W. Bush won the election, so he became President.

Video Summary and Quiz

1. American citizens have very many rights, the Bill of Rights is protecting these freedoms.

Question 1 of 2

2. Many Americans believe it is their civic duty to vote.

Question 2 of 2


Next lesson: Geography USA


Last Updated on April 8, 2021.

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