Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution
Ten Amendments to the Bill of Rights
Bill of Rights Constitution; Bill of Rights US Constitution Amendments Southern Secession States
Rights Civil War Causes South, Copy Bill of Rights 10th Amendment Tenth 10 Transcript Transcription
and Ratification of the Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
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
declaratory 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.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to
the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles,
when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution;
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of
the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the
fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Article the first... After the first enumeration required by
the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall
amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one
hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives
shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than
two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.
Article the second... No law, varying the compensation for the
services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
Article the third... Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Article the fourth... A well regulated Militia, being necessary
to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Article the fifth... 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.
Article the sixth... The right of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants
shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched,
and the persons or things to be seized.
Article the seventh... No person shall be held to answer for
a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in
the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person
be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to
be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private
property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Article the eighth... In all criminal prosecutions, the accused
shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall
have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause
of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in
his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Article the ninth... In Suits at common law, where the value
in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall
be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Article the tenth... Excessive bail shall not be required, nor
excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Article the eleventh... The enumeration in the Constitution,
of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Article the twelfth... The powers not delegated to the United
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House
John Adams, Vice-President of the United States, and President of the Senate
John Beckley, Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Sam. A Otis Secretary
of the Senate
The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction. Review: "The Bill of Rights stands as the high temple of our constitutional
order--America's Parthenon--and yet we
lack a clear view of it," Akhil Reed Amar writes in his introduction to The Bill of Rights. "Instead of being studied holistically,
the Bill has been broken up ... with each segment examined in isolation." With The Bill of Rights, Amar aims to put the pieces
back together and take a longer view of a document few Americans truly understand. Part history of the Bill, part analysis
of the Founding Fathers' intentions, this book provides a unique interpretation of the Constitution. It is Amar's hypothesis
that, contrary to popular belief, the Bill of Rights was not originally constructed to protect the minority against the majority,
but rather to empower popular majorities. It wasn't until 19th-century post-Civil War reconstruction and the introduction
of the 14th Amendment that the notion of individual rights took hold. Continued below...
Prior to that,
the various amendments to the Constitution that make up the Bill of Rights were more about the structure of government and
designed to protect citizens against a self-interested regime. Yet
so great has been the impact of the 14th Amendment on modern legal thought that the Bill's original intentions have almost
been forgotten. Through skillful interpretation and solid research, Amar both reconstructs the original thinking of the Founding
Fathers and chronicles the radical changes that have occurred since the inclusion of the 14th Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
The results make for provocative reading no matter where you stand on the political spectrum.
Recommended Reading: America's Constitution: A Biography (Hardcover). Publishers Weekly: Starred
Review. You can read the U.S. Constitution, including its 27 amendments, in about a half-hour, but it takes decades of study
to understand how this blueprint for our nation's government came into existence. Amar, a 20-year veteran of the Yale Law School
faculty, has that understanding, steeped in the political history of the 1780s, when dissatisfaction with the Articles of
Confederation led to a constitutional convention in Philadelphia,
which produced a document of wonderful compression and balance creating an indissoluble union. Amar examines in turn each
article of the Constitution, explaining how the framers drew on English models, existing state constitutions and other sources
in structuring the three branches of the federal government and defining the relationship of the government to the states.
on each of the amendments, from the original Bill of Rights to changes in the rules for presidential succession. The book
squarely confronts America's involvement with slavery, which the original Constitution facilitated
in ways the author carefully explains. Scholarly, reflective and brimming with ideas, this book is miles removed from an arid,
academic exercise in textual analysis. Amar evokes the passions and tumult that marked the Constitution's birth and its subsequent
revisions. Only rarely do you find a book that embodies scholarship at its most solid and invigorating; this is such a book.
Origins of the Bill of Rights (Yale Contemporary Law Series). From
Library Journal: Constitutional historian Levy, author of 36 books concerning American politics and constitutional
issues (e.g., The Palladium of Justice: Origins of Trial by Jury), provides a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the
origins of the Bill of Rights and other constitutional provisions that protect rights. His historical analysis frames fundamental
principles of "liberty" and "rights" by interpreting each of the first nine amendments to the Constitution and demonstrating
differences between 18th-century American ideals and English common-law practice. Continued below...
His informative arguments in this important work concern nature and the sources of the Bill of Rights within
American democracy, providing understanding for both scholars and citizens. Levy's approach to these controversial values,
which protect the rights of the people, will be the source of future legal and public discussion. A significant contribution
to understanding the Bill of Rights; highly recommended.
Recommended Reading: The U.S. Constitution: And Fascinating Facts About It. Description: In The U.S. Constitution & Fascinating Facts About It you'll
see the entire text of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence--and much more! You'll find
interesting insights into the men who wrote the Constitution, how it was created, and how the Supreme Court has interpreted
the Constitution in the two centuries since its creation.
Recommended Reading: The Constitution
of the United States of America, with
the Bill of Rights and all of the Amendments; The Declaration of Independence; and the Articles of Confederation, by Thomas Jefferson (Author), Second Continental Congress (Author),
Constitutional Convention (Author). Description: Collected in one affordable volume are the most important
documents of the United States of America: The Constitution of the United States of America, with the Bill of Rights and all
of the Amendments; The Declaration of Independence; and the Articles of Confederation. These three documents are the basis
for our entire way of life. Every citizen should have a copy.
Reading: Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. Review: In retrospect, it seems as if
the American Revolution was inevitable. But was it? In Founding Brothers, Joseph J. Ellis reveals that many of those truths
we hold to be self-evident were actually fiercely contested in the early days of the republic. Ellis focuses on six crucial
moments in the life of the new nation, including a secret dinner at which the seat of the nation's capital was determined--in
exchange for support of Hamilton's financial plan; Washington's
precedent-setting Farewell Address; and the Hamilton and Burr duel. Most interesting, perhaps, is the debate (still dividing
scholars today) over the meaning of the Revolution. Continued below...
In a fascinating
chapter on the renewed friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson at the end of their lives, Ellis points out the
fundamental differences between the Republicans, who saw the Revolution as a liberating act and hold the Declaration of Independence
most sacred, and the Federalists, who saw the revolution as a step in the building of American nationhood and hold the Constitution
most dear. Throughout the text, Ellis explains the personal, face-to-face nature of early American politics--and notes that
the members of the revolutionary generation were conscious of the fact that they were establishing precedents on which future
generations would rely. In Founding Brothers, Ellis (whose American Sphinx won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1997)
has written an elegant and engaging narrative, sure to become a classic. Highly recommended.
Recommended Viewing: John Adams (HBO Miniseries)
(2008) (501 minutes). Description: Based on David McCullough's bestselling biography,
the HBO miniseries John Adams is the furthest thing from a starry-eyed look at America's founding fathers and the brutal
path to independence. Adams (Paul Giamatti), second president of the United
States, is portrayed as a skilled orator and principled attorney whose preference for justice
over anti-English passions earns enemies. But he also gains the esteem of the first national government of the United States,
i.e., the Continental Congress, which seeks non-firebrands capable of making a reasoned if powerful case for America's break
from England's monarchy. The first thing one notices about John Adams' dramatizations of congress' proceedings, and the fervent
pro-independence violence in the streets of Boston and elsewhere, is that America's roots don't look pretty or idealized here.
Some horrendous things happen in the name of protest, driving Adams to push the cause of
independence in a legitimate effort to get on with a revolutionary war under the command of George Washington. But the process
isn't easy: not every one of the 13 colonies-turned-states is ready to incur the wrath of England, and behind-the-scenes negotiations prove as much a part of 18th century
congressional sessions as they do today. Continued below...
peek into a less-romanticized version of the past, John Adams is also a story of the man himself. Adams' frustration at being
forgotten or overlooked at critical junctures of America's early development--sent abroad
for years instead of helping to draft the U.S. Constitution--is detailed. So is his dismay that the truth of what actually
transpired leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence has been slowly forgotten and replaced by a rosier myth.
But above all, John Adams is the story of two key ties: Adams' 54-year marriage to Abigail
Adams (Laura Linney), every bit her husband's intellectual equal and anchor, and his difficult, almost symbiotic relationship
with Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane) over decades. Giamatti, of course, has to carry much of the drama, and if he doesn't
always seem quite believable in the series' first half, he becomes increasingly excellent at the point where an aging Adams becomes bitter over his place in history. Linney is marvelous, as is Dillane, Sarah Polley as
daughter Nabby, Danny Huston as cousin Samuel Adams, and above all Tom Wilkinson as a complex but indispensable Ben Franklin.
The Heritage Guide to the Constitution,
by Edwin Meese (Author), Matthew Spalding (Editor), David F. Forte (Editor), Matthew Spalding (Author), David F. Forte (Author)
(Hardcover). Description: This guide is the first of
its kind, and presents the U.S. Constitution as never before, including a clause-by-clause analysis of the document, each
amendment and relevant court case, and the documents that serve as the foundation of the Constitution. About the Authors:
Edwin Meese III served as the 75th Attorney General of the United States
under President Reagan. Continued below...
The Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board, he is a distinguished legal expert and holds the Ronald Reagan
Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation; Executive Editor Dr. Matthew Spalding is an expert in and teaches constitutional
history, is an Adjunct Fellow of the Claremont Institute, and is the Director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American
Studies at the Heritage Foundation; Senior Editor Dr. David F. Forte is a widely published legal scholar, a former Chief Counsel
to the United States Delegation to the United Nations, and the Charles R. Emrick, Jr. Â—Calfee Halter & Griswold
Professor of Law at Cleveland State University.
Recommended Reading: Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution. Description:
Imagine, for a preposterous moment, that 55 national leaders convened to write a document to guide the country for hundreds
of years. It seems unlikely--given that our current contingent of so-called leaders can't agree on how to balance a checkbook--that
they could reach consensus on such issues as the allotment of congressional seats. The political and ideological issues that
faced the creators of the Constitution were similar in some ways to those at play today. And in some ways they were vastly
different ones. Jack Rakove, a history professor at Stanford University, has in this book framed the process that led to the
drafting of the constitution in its historical and political context to offer insight into the difficulty of interpreting
that most influential of documents.
Recommended Reading: The Complete
Idiot's Guide to the U.S. Constitution.
Description: The “living” document that changed the world. One of the most revered, imitated, and controversial
government documents in the world, the U.S. Constitution serves as the foundation for the American government and shapes the
lives of Americans every day. But how many know its history and the impact it’s had on American laws and practices throughout
history? This guide serves as the most current and accessible handbook to this all-important document. —Covers the document
itself, as well as controversial interpretations and decisions.