History of the United States
US Constitution
Bill of Rights
Search and Seizure

What is the history of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution?

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Answer

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12/01/2008

Back in the mid 1700s, the Writs of Assistance allowed royal officers to search the homes of citizens, mostly as a way of discovering violations of strict English laws. This practice led to a unique awareness among our Founding Fathers of the threat to individual liberty and privacy that is created by unchecked government search powers. They decided to create an amendment that both gave the goevernment power to search criminals and also prevented the government from repeating English history (which was the point of coming to a new land and forming a new government, wasn't it).