Tap to Read ➤

Explanation of the Third Amendment to the US Constitution

Shruti Bhat Mar 15, 2020
The Third Amendment to the US Constitution was brought by, to safeguard the property owners' right to forbid the quartering of soldiers in their homes.


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.
During the American Revolutionary War, the Quartering Act was passed by the British parliament, allowing the British troops to stay in civilian homes. It stated that the colonies had to provide the troops with accommodation in public or private residences, as well as with food and other supplies.
There was a need to restrict this quartering of soldiers, so as to safeguard the citizens' rights to ownership and use of their properties. The Third Amendment was introduced to protect these rights of the civilians. It also gave a message that the military was not above the civilians, and that the civilians should not be deprived of their rights.
James Madison introduced it as a part of the Bill of Rights. It was proposed to the states on September 28, 1789. By December 1791, it was ratified by seventy-five percent of the states. It was adopted on March 1, 1792, as announced by Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State.
Revisions were introduced, with variations in the way war and peace states were interpreted. There were differences over whether the legislature or the executive would be authorized to allow quartering. However, the amendment was passed in the Congress with almost no changes and it gathered unanimous vote.

Third Amendment Explained

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house...
The Quartering act, which was imposed upon the colonies stated that the soldiers had to be quartered (accommodated) in commercial as well as private residences.
This line in the amendment expressed an opposition to the act by preventing the soldiers from being homed or quartered during times of peace in any private or civilian residence.
without the consent of the Owner...
Quartering made it inconvenient and unsafe for the residents as the military troops sheltered in their homes, which was a breach of their right to privacy and ownership of property. This part of the amendment stated that quartering should not be done without the homeowner's consent.
Prior to the amendment, the living expenses of the troops would also have to be borne by the homeowners, which would mean an additional burden on them.
nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
This part meant that military encroachment in civilian residences would not be accepted in times of war unless national security weighed over civilian rights. It thus said that quartering of soldiers would be disallowed during peacetime, and would need the owner's consent in wartime.
The third amendment was important as it protected the civilians from unreasonable military interference, and safeguarded their right to the ownership and use of their property.