why the bill of rights was created

Celebrate Constitution Day on September 17, 2017
Check out ourPConstitution Day lesson plans, contests, games, and resources below. Make sure you have the resources you need to explore the Constitution with your class for Constitution Day. Check out our featured P The Constitutional Convention from P or utilize. We have complete classroom lessons for both middle school and high school classes that are sure to engage your students! Each lesson includes a warm-up activity, a full lesson, a wrap-up activity, and homework. In addition, both you and your students can win a variety of gift cards, T-Shirts, and other prizes by participating in one of our contests. The Bill of Rights is an important set of amendments to the United States Constitution, as the Constitution itself contained very few rights for the individual.


The Bill of Rights was a pretty controversial idea when it was proposed in 1789, because a majority of the founding fathers had already entertained and rejected the idea of including a Bill of Rights in the original 1787 Constitution. On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution) were ratified by the states. The Bill of Rights were added to the Constitution to address fears raised by the Anti-Federalists during the ratification of the Constitution that the Constitution did not provide sufficient protection against abuses of power by the federal government.


P James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, originally did not think a Bill of Rights was necessary. He thought the Constitution gave no power to the federal government that would allow for a violation of the rights of the people. Madison later changed his position, persuaded mainly by Thomas Jefferson, and, with the help of others, drafted twenty amendments that were proposed to the first United States Congress in 1789. Twelve of the proposed amendments were accepted by Congress and were then sent to the states for ratification. Only ten were ratified. These ten amendments list our basic rights and place limits on the federal government. They include the freedoms of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and an assurance that the powers not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people.


Many of these provisions were based upon similar protections provided by state constitutions that limited the power of state and local government authorities. Of the remaining amendments that were not ratified in 1791, one was later adopted in 1992 as the twenty-seventh amendment to the Constitution. That amendment prevents changes in the compensation for senators and representatives until after a subsequent election of representatives. The other proposed amendment has never been adopted.

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