SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – A distinct wariness of potential government abuses was evident in many of the individual rights laid out in the first nine amendments.
But it is even more pronounced in the way the Tenth Amendment gives authority over all rights not mentioned in the Constitution to the states and not the central government.
Only 10 years before the first ten amendments passed, the colonies were still 13 independent states comparable to 13 separate nations. So colonists still considered themselves citizens of Virginia or Connecticut or Georgia first and America second and didn't want a government located far away from their home dictating how they lived.
"Now that's an interesting amendment, because this is where state's rights advocates point when they're unhappy with something the federal government does and it comes up again and again,'' says Armstrong Atlantic State University History professor Dr. Chris Hendricks. "It was to sell the Constitution. That was to make people give up fears they had about this new document.
The Tenth Amendment was fairly obscure for its first 150 years.
But that changed dramatically with President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal' which created many federal programs to stimulate the economy and made the government one of the nation's largest employers.