Why was the bill of rights added to the constitution? The U.S. Bill of Rights is made up of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Americans cherish rights and liberties such as freedom of speech, religion, and due process of law. These rights and liberties were not listed in the original Constitution drafted at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 but were later included in the first ten amendments called the Bill of Rights.
Here, you’ll get to know more about the Bill of Rights and why it was added to the constitution.
Table of Contents
What is the Bill of Rights?
The Bill of Rights also called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights that consists of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These amendments guarantee important rights and civil liberties including the right to free speech and the right to bear arms, as well as reserving rights to the people and the states.
The Bill of Rights has its own fascinating story as a distinct historical document that was drafted separately from the seven articles that make the body of the Constitution.
However, since the first 10 amendments were approved in 1791, the Bill of Rights has also been an integral part of the Constitution.
Who composed the Bill of Rights?
In 1988, after the Constitution was ratified, James Madison took the lead in the First Congress in composing the Bill of Rights.
Even though the list of rights and liberties suggested by the former colonies was extensive, James Madison narrowed it to 12 amendments called the Bill of Rights.
10 out of these 12 amendments became part of the United States Constitution in 1791 after securing the approval of the required ¾ of the states.
The Bill of Rights resolved one of the most glaring deficiencies of the new Constitution thereby preventing the government’s abuse of personal liberties.
When was the Bill of Rights created?
The Bill of Rights was created on December 15th, 1791, and thus became part of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights Day is observed every 15th December as called for by a joint resolution of Congress that was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.
Why was the Bill of Rights Created?
The Bill of Rights was created to protect the basic rights of U.S. citizens guaranteeing the freedom of speech, freedom of press, assembly, and exercise of religion, the right to fair legal procedure, the right to bear arms, and many more.
How many copies of the Bill of Rights exist and where are they?
Congress commissioned 14 original copies of the Bill of Rights i.e. a copy for the federal government and a copy for each of the original 13 states which President George Washington dispatched to the states to consider for ratification.
Today, many of these original copies reside at the archives of their respective states. The federal government’s copy is on display at the National Archives and Records Administration in the capital state Washington D.C. as well as the original handwritten copies of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
These four states: Georgia, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania are missing their copies and two unidentified copies are known to have survived i.e. one is in the Library of Congress and the other in the collection of the New York Public Library.
The copies of the Bill of Rights of North Carolina were missing for about 140 years after being stolen by a Union soldier during the Civil War. The National Constitution Center played an important role in helping them recover the document in 2003.
Why was the bill of rights added to the constitution?
The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to ensure ratification. When the Convention reported the Constitution to the states for ratification, the nation split between Federalist supporters of the new document and Anti-Federalist opponents.
To ensure ratification of the document, the Federalists offered concessions, and the First Congress proposed a Bill of Rights as protection for those afraid of a strong national government.
The Bill of Rights was drafted in December 1791, after ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures.
Why is the Bill of Rights important?
The Bill of Rights represents the first step that the people took in amending the Constitution in order to form a more perfect union. The original unamended Constitution was a remarkable achievement thus establishing a revolutionary structure of government that put power in the hands of the people.
The Bill of Rights built on that foundation, protecting the people’s most cherished freedoms such as freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and due process of law.
For over two centuries, Americans have exercised, restricted, expanded, tested, and debated those freedoms the Bill of Rights has shaped and been shaped by what it means to be an American citizen.
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