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Who wrote the Bill of Rights?

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demon300 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted December 29, 2012 at 8:26 PM via web

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Who wrote the Bill of Rights?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 29, 2012 at 9:06 PM (Answer #1)

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The Bill of Rights was not written by any one person.  Instead, it was created by Congress as a whole.

During the ratification of the Constitution, the Federalists promised to add a bill of rights to the Constitution.  They made this promise because many people in the country were worried about the federal government having too much power under that Constitution.

The process of writing the Bill of Rights started with James Madison, who was also seen as the main architect of the Constitution itself.  George Mason and Thomas Jefferson were also involved.  Madison created a set of amendments that he proposed to the House of Representatives.  What he proposed was a set of clauses that he wanted inserted into the Constitution.  In other words, he did not label his proposals as the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and so forth.

The House did not accept the idea of inserting new words into the Constitution.  Instead, it decided to propose 17 amendments to be added to the end of the Constitution.  These were then sent to the Senate.  The Senate narrowed them down to 12 amendments.  Of those 12 amendments, the states ratified 10.  Those 10 came to be known as the Bill of Rights.

Thus, if we are going to give credit for the Bill of Rights to one person, it would have to be Madison.  But it is not as if he and he alone wrote the words that are now in the Bill of Rights.

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