The First Freedoms
The Privacy Amendments
The 5th Amendment
The 6th Amendment
Civil Trials
The Interpretive Rules

The Making of the Bill of Rights

Once James Madison undertook the task of amending the Constitution in the First Congress, he worked tirelessly to bring it about. Indeed, navigating his list of proposed amendments through both houses of Congress was a task that would take all of Madison’s tenacity and skill. A formidable cadre of congressmen believed that it was too soon to be talking about amendments, and they repeatedly delayed Madison’s measures. Then, once he succeeded in bringing his proposal forward, many other congressmen objected that his amendments were insufficient.

Through will power and political finesse, Madison finally managed to win the assent of two-thirds of both houses of Congress for a list of twelve proposed amendments. Ten of these were adopted by the states by 1791, becoming the Bill of Rights we know today.