National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
  National Constitution Center Home  
   
  Constitutional
Timeline Home
 
 


Era Overviews

 
  1765-1786  
  1787-1790 >  
  1791-1824  
  1825-1849  
  1850-1865  
  1866-1885  
  1886-1906  
  1907-1930  
  1931-1946  
  1947-1954  
  1955-1969  
  1970-1987  
  1987-  
   
  Help  
   
  Credits  
   
   
     




< Previous Event | Back to Timeline | Next Event >

You are viewing the low-bandwidth version of the Constitutional Timeline. View the broadband version.

1787-1790: We adopt a Constitution for our new Republic

September 25, 1789
The anti-Federalists get their wish: a Bill of Rights

James Madison

“I wish the plan was prefaced with a Bill of Rights. And I would second a motion if made for the purpose. It would give great quiet to the people.”
—George Mason, Virginia delegate to the
Constitutional Convention

Last year’s rancorous ratification debates leave no doubt. Anti-Federalists are deeply unhappy with the Constitution. High on their list of objections: it lacks a bill of rights to keep the new government from trampling on individual freedoms.

Debate in Massachusetts, Virginia and New York was particularly fierce. Anti-Federalists there signed on only after Federalists agreed to support amending the Constitution to include guarantees of personal liberties.

Soon after the first Congress convened, James Madison introduced a Bill of Rights. Today, Congress agreed to send it on to the states for ratification.

What Madison calls the “great rights of mankind” include the rights to speak and write what we want, worship as we please and receive a fair trial.

These additions should make it easier for all Americans to embrace the Constitution.

< Previous Event | Back to Timeline | Next Event >


You are viewing the low-bandwidth version. View the broadband version (Flash plug-in and broadband connection required)

 

Home | Feedback | Site Map
525 Arch Street, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106 ph.215.409.6600
Content Copyright 2006, National Constitution Center. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy