Here are the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights. Each one is listed, then I discuss those that have been controversial over the years. Remember that these were written to limit the Federal Government from encroaching upon the rights of the citizens of America. These do not "guarantee" these rights, they merely say that the Federal Government can not take these rights away!
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Note: This first means that the Federal government can not declare any religion as the official religion of America, nor can the Federal government limit anyone's exercise of their religion. Second, the Federal government can not limit the freedom of speech (you can still be sued for saying stupid things by other citizens) nor can it punish the press (newspapers, etc.). Third, the Federal government can not interfere with citizens that want to assemble peacefully or that want to petition the government about complaints, etc. However, it does NOT apply to the states. At one time, Maryland was Catholic, while Rhode Island also had a specific church.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Note: This is one of the simplest, though one that many people don't like. Because all free countries need to have an army to defend themselves, in no way will the government interfere with the people's right to keep and carry weapons. This also tends to reduce crime (who wants to attack armed victims anyway?) as well as prepare people for military service. This also stops the government from abusing the people because they can not defend themselves against their own government-run-wild!
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
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.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Note: This one was destroyed in the War Between the States. (We had no "Civil War" because in a "Civil War" two sides fight to control the whole country. The South had no intention of controlling the North, it just wanted to put an end to the way the northern states were dictating to them how to run their lives. The North wanted the South to obey the majority.) Ever since that war, the Federal government has taken on more and more powers, even though this amendment clearly states that the Federal government has no right to do so. It takes courage to try to end popular programs that are not legal, and few people today have exercised that kind of courage.