This archaic amendment was added to the Constitution during the American Revolutionary War when soldiers were quartered in a home without the owner’s consent. James Madison originally introduced this amendment in 1789 as a part of the United States Bill of Rights, partly as an outgrowth of backlash from Anti-Federalist groups opposed to the Constitution’s draft. The amendment was proposed on September 28, 1789, and finally accepted by the legislature on December 15, 1791. This amendment was a response to British Parliament rules on quartering soldiers, which frustrated the early colonials to no end.
The Constitution was newly proposed at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, on September 17, 1787 where the guarantee of civil liberties was included as the right not to be forced to quarter soldiers. The third amendment doesn’t apply to police officers, as they aren’t soldiers. This is an ancient amendment by now because in modern times, nobody is asked to quarter soldiers, even in a time of war. This amendment is about how people are protected from direct government intrusion into their home (Constitution Center). Americans and British people of the day both felt that nobody should have to quarter soldiers in wartime or for that matter in peacetime.
It was said in those days that nobody had to quarter soldiers unless they wanted to. Under the British government, the American people felt like they were oppressed, which they were. The actual text of the third amendment reads as follows “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” (Constitution Center). The thing is, the “well-regulated militia thing applied only in 1776. The third amendment, as mentioned earlier, was added to the Constitution in 1789.
King George the III was told by Thomas Jefferson to quit “quartering large bodies of armored troops among us,” and the Third Amendment is mostly about not being forced by the government to use your property a certain way. In modern times, this may affect those who live off the grid. Sometimes the government interferes with things like harvesting rainwater, for example. Soldiers need not be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, and that’s mostly what the Third Amendment is mostly about. Everybody is responsible for upholding our Constitutional rights of others.
A person’s home is not a place the United States government can invade without notice. James Madison believed in the American concepts of private property and free enterprise. His belief involved that the government need not interfere with regulating businesses. Conservatives take this to mean that the government is not taking seriously the regulation of business entities. Corporations should make their own laws. Liberals take this as meaning that the government ought to step in more, with rules about how business ought to be conducted.
In conclusion, the Third Amendment is something that was passed while being relevant to the day it was created. But in modern times, it may have lost relevance. If we were to rewrite the Constitution as updated for the 21st century, we would need the input of every valid U.S. citizen to undertake this. Granted, the Constitution is an ever-evolving document that gets added to often. We need to write “We the People,” and make it stick, including all people, including women. The original document was not set up with women in mind back in those days. The Third Amendment was relevant to the era, but in modern times it means that we need to figure out something to say, such as no martial law ought to be used on American soil. This is just an idea. Feel free to contact me on my blog.