Bill of Rights

Printed annotated House Joint Resolution Amending the Constitution and proposing a Bill of Rights with 12 amendments passed by the Senate, September 9, 1789

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. Senate

By the time Representative Madison’s proposals passed the Senate on September 9, several changes had been made. Perhaps the most dramatic of these was the loss of the preamble which declared the government "ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."