Where did the ideas for changes to the Constitution come from? What kinds of changes were being suggested?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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When the Constitution was being written, the men writing the document realized it might have to be altered in the future.  Since the document was written in a general format, the delegates realized that as time changed, it might be necessary to change the Constitution.  However, the delegates believed that it should be more difficult to change the Constitution than to change a law.  Thus, they required two-thirds of both houses of Congress and three-fourths of the state governments to agree to change it.

The ideas for making specific changes came from many places. One of the places where people looked for change was in the English Bill of Rights.  This document guaranteed the English citizens certain freedoms. Another area of change came from experiences the colonists had.  Several states were very concerned that certain freedoms that were being violated by the British while we were colonies of Britain were not specifically guaranteed in the Constitution. They demanded that a Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution to secure its ratification.  (These were the first ten amendments to the Constitution.) Other amendments came from various experiences once the Constitution was enacted.  When the Constitution was written, there were no political parties. The development of political parties created havoc in the Electoral College as candidates from different parties were elected as President and Vice President.  Thus, a change was needed.  The same statement could be made regarding Prohibition.  When people realized it wasn’t working, a change was needed. As times changed, people realized there had to be other changes made to adapt the Constitution to modern times. Giving women the right to vote is an example of this concept.  Therefore, there were many reasons why changes were made to the Constitution. There also were various factors that influenced the desire for these changes to the Constitution.

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