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25 Laws That Make America a Better Place

Updated September 1, 2020 39.1k views25 items

List RulesThe laws on this list are ordered by the dates they went into effect.

Laws are often monumental in helping to heal the world. These are some of the best ideas that helped to make the world a better place. Some of these laws were written when the United States was founded, other newer laws were put into place to repeal older ones. 

Some of the most important laws ever written were codified in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. Those first ten rules of law became the precedent for how all future laws would come about. It made the United States of America one of the most democratic places to live at the time. 

Later laws passed to ensure more rights to more people. Some laws that sought to exclude Americans were repealed. Minorities, women, the elderly, the impoverished, and young people, were unfairly targeted by certain laws that had existed. This list also looks at ways that these laws were overturned to make life better for more people. A few of these laws also expanded everyone's rights. One in particular is the repeal of prohibition, which extended everyone's right to party. Getting told what to do by the government is occasionally a bummer, but most of the time the benefits extended by these laws make the world a better place.
  • Photo: The U.S. National Archives / Flickr

    Habeas Corpus

    The first recorded usage of Habeas Corpus was in 1305. It was codified by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, an English law that is thought to have originated in the Magna Carta. It requires that a person under arrest must be brought before a judge or into court. This is the backbone of our criminal justice system.
  • Photo: Tom Grydeland / Flickr

    "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."

    A monumental guarantee ratified with the rest of the Bill of Rights in 1791.
  • Photo: Evil Erin / Flickr

    Right to Bear Arms (2nd Amendment to the Constitution)

    "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."

    An important piece of legislation ratified with the rest of the Bill of Rights in 1791.
  • Photo: Wally Gobetz / Flickr

    Restriction of Soldiers in Private Homes (3rd Amendment to the Constitution)

    "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."

    At the time, this was a monumental decision. It was ratified with the rest of the Bill of Rights in 1791.