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Terms in this set (67)

• After the Constitution was ratified, congress quickly turned its attention to adding a Bill of Rights
• Several states only ratified the Constitution only on the condition that a bill of rights be added
• The framers had established a way to amend, or change the constitution
• The did not want people to make changes lightly
• They made the process of amending the Constitution fairly difficult
• In 1789, the first Congress proposed a set of twelve amendments written by James Madison
• As required by the Constitution, the amendments then went to the states
• By December 1791, three fourths of the states had ratified 10 of the 12 amendments
• These 10 amendments became known as the Bill of Rights
• James Madison insisted that the Bill of Rights does not give Americans any rights
• The rights listed, he said, are natural rights that belong to all human beings
• The Bill of Rights simply prevents the government from taking these rights away
• Some of the first 10 amendments were intended to prevent the kind of abuse Americans had suffered under English rule
• For example, the Declaration of Independence had condemned the king for forcing colonists to quarter troops in their homes, and for suspending trial by jury
• The third amendment forbids the government to quarter troops in citizen's homes without consent
• The sixth and seventh amendment guarantee the right to trial by jury
• Other amendments protected individual rights as many states had already done
• With the Bill of Rights in place, the new framework of government was complete