Legislative Branch

December Feature: the Bill of Rights

On June 8, 1789, Representative James Madison introduced a series of proposed amendments to the newly ratified U.S. Constitution. That summer the House of Representatives debated Madison’s proposal, and on August 24 the House passed 17 amendments to be added to the Constitution. Those 17 amendments were then sent to the Senate. On September 2, the Senate began considering amendments to the Constitution as proposed and passed in the House. They altered and consolidated the House amendments into 12 articles on September 9, 1789 to make up the document below. On September 25, Congress agreed upon the 12 amendments, and they were sent to the states for approval. Articles three through twelve were ratified and became the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791. Explore this milestone document in more detail with Congress Creates the Bill of Rights, an eBook, a mobile app for tablets, and online resources for teachers and students.

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