The Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10)


Proposed September 25, 1789; Adopted December 15, 1791

It’s almost impossible to imagine the United States (U.S.) Constitution without having a Bill of Rights, but when it was first being drafted, a majority of the Founding Fathers didn’t think it was necessary.

However, there were a few men who believed it was so significant that they refused to sign the Constitution because it didn’t have one. Three famous refusers were George Mason of Virginia, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, and Edmund Randolph of Virginia.

As it turned out, these three were not the only ones who thought this was an issue. When State ratification messages started arriving with their own commentary and suggestions for individual rights, Congress began to consider the idea of a “Bill of Rights.”