Date of Award

5-1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

History

Abstract

The existence of the search and seizure restrictions encoded in the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the result of a two part historical development that took place simultaneously in England and the American colonies. Severe legislative restrictions on the press were largely responsible for the developments in England, while in the colonies it was British tax and trade regulations that spawned the changes. On both sides of the Atlantic, however, the primary catalyst was the government's use of general searches in the enforcement of those laws. It was the continued abuse of general searches despite the public's growing opposition to them that would ultimately prove responsible for the expression of reasonable search and seizure guidelines in the Bill of Rights.

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