Bill of Rights
Madison, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, altered the Constitution’s text where he thought appropriate. However, several representatives, led by Roger Sherman, objected, saying that Congress had no authority to change the wording of the Constitution. Therefore, Madison’s changes were presented as a list of amendments that would follow Article VII.
Proposal and ratification
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
More About Bill of Rights
In the First Congress, Madison undertook to fulfill his promise. Carefully sifting amendments from proposals made in the state ratifying conventions, Madison steered his project through the shoals of indifference on the part of some members (who thought the House had more important work to do) and outright hostility on the part of others (Antifederalists who hoped for a second convention to hobble the powers of the federal government). In September 1789 the House and Senate accepted a conference report laying out the language of proposed amendments to the Constitution.
The Library of Virginia owns one of the twelve surviving original copies of the Bill of Rights. The Commonwealth of Virginia became the eleventh state to approve the third through twelfth amendments, which became the first ten amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the Bill of Rights. The second of the amendments proposed in 1789 was ratified in May 1992 and became the Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the Constitution.
Citation: Records of the General Assembly, Executive Communications, Record Group 78, Library of Virginia.
A Brief History of
In 1787, the framers of the U. S. Constitution did protect certain rights within the body of that document. Among these were the writ of habeas corpus, which requires the government to show cause why it is holding a prisoner; the right to trial by jury in criminal cases; and the prohibition of religious tests for public office. However, a motion to add an additional bill of rights, brought up late in the convention, was defeated.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
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Bill of Rights
In September 1789, the First Congress of the United States proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution, addressing the most frequent criticisms. Articles 3 through 12, which three-fourths of the states ratified on December 15, 1791, constitute the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and are known as the Bill of Rights. The original second article, concerning the compensation of members of Congress, finally became law on May 7, 1992. Congress never passed the original first amendment, which concerned the number of constituents for each representative.