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

Ideas for changes to the Constitution came from the Virginia Declaration of Rights as well as the Magna Carta, the Massachusetts Body of Liberties, and John Locke's Enlightenment writings about natural rights. The changes suggested were meant to safeguard individual liberties, such as freedom of speech and assembly.

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The United States was, in many ways, unprecedented: prior to its creation, democracy on such a scale was seen as untried and unproven. The Framers of the Constitution were aware of the challenges they were facing—in fact, it should be noted that the first attempt at forming a governing structure for the United States, as represented by the Articles of Confederation, had actually proved unsatisfactory; it was abandoned in favor of the Constitution.

The first ten amendments were added in the context of the Federalist Debates, which were waged over the ratification of the US Constitution. Among the charges levied by the anti-Federalists was that too much power had been concentrated in the federal government and that the Constitution furthermore lacked a Bill of Rights (which would serve as a guarantor of civil liberties). Thus, the first ten amendments served to correct this oversight, drawing from American influences, such as the Virginia Declaration of Rights, as well as older European...

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