U.S. Bill of Rights Is Ratified (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The placing of limits on the powers of the federal government to ensure civil rights.
Summary of Event
The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. These amendments were added two years after the adoption of the Constitution because of demand from prominent people in the states. Their omission from the original document was not a mistake or an oversight. No such list of rights or privileges was included in the original Constitution because majority opinion held that it was unnecessary to guarantee rights that were already commonly accepted and, in most cases, were already guaranteed by the various state constitutions.
When the Constitution was approved by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and sent to the states for ratification, a movement to append a bill of rights immediately was evident. Richard Henry Lee, George Mason, Patrick Henry, Elbridge Gerry, and many other prominent state leaders announced opposition to the ratification of the Constitution because it contained no bill of rights. There is no doubt that these Antifederalists objected to several different parts of the document. They chose, however, to concentrate their attack on the absence of a bill of rights. They correctly reasoned that this issue would bring them popular support.
As the various state conventions met to discuss ratification of the...
(The entire section is 1198 words.)
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