There have been 27 amendments to the Constitution passed in compliance to Article 5 of the Constitution. The first 10 are called ‘The Bill of Rights.’

There was disagreement in the states over the proposed Constitution, mainly between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. This was settled by what is called the Connecticut Compromise. But there was still matters like slavery and a Bill of Rights that had to be promised to be created by the first session of Congress to get some states to ratify the Constitution. This was promised. The controversy over slavery continued and wasn’t decided until about 75 years later.

The Constitution was drafted in 1787, and approved in 1989. In 1789, during the first session of Congress, the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments) were created and sent to the states, and were approved in 1791.


America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 1: Religion & Free Speech (1791)


Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition of the government in the event there were disagreements and grievances.

Watch the video on Amendment 1 (less than 3 minutes).




America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 2: The Right to Have Guns (1791)


GUNS: This is the right to own weapons (arms) and to bear them.

A MILITIA. This also provides for a necessary, well regulated militia which means individuals who are well trained and armed to defend against any outside infringement. This wasn’t optional during the Revolutionary War, and it’s largely the way the war was won. It’s very difficult for an organized army to prevail over a well regulated militia that fire from behind every fence and barnyard door.

Although a militia should still be maintained today, in compliance with our Constitution, it is less likely today that we will be invaded by ground troops as we were in the Revolutionary War. It is far more likely we would be invaded by bombs and missiles, so a militia is not as vital today. But again, a militia is still part of our Constitution, and this can include every living, breathing man and woman to defend our nation.


America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 3: The Housing of Soldiers (1791)

This is called ‘the quartering of soldiers,’ and it says no citizen shall be required to house soldiers. This was largely a situation that had been imposed on people in pre-Revolutionary War times. It’s not a situation we really face today, but it is still a protection that we have.


America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 4. People and Their Property (1791) 


No unreasonable searches or seizures. Warrants for searches and seizures must be issued and must be based on what is called ‘probable cause,’ supported by oath. It must all fully describe the place to be searched and the persons involved.


America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 5. Personal Rights (1791)

A jury trial, no self-incrimination or double jeopardy in criminal cases. A grand jury shall be involved in serious crimes. No one can be forced to be a witness against himself, and there shall be no double trial for the same offense, except by due process of law. Private property cannot be taken without just compensation.


America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 6. Rights in Criminal Cases (1791)

This deals with the rights of the accused in criminal cases, or the rights of a person after indictment. To begin with, a person has the right to know what the accusation is being made against them, and to be personally confronted with the witnesses testifying against him. The trial then be quick and speedy, and public, and the accused has a right to a jury from the State or district where the crime was allegedly committed. The defendant has the right to legal representation even if he can’t afford it, and he has the right to the compulsory process to obtain witnesses in his favor.



America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 7. Civil Law Suits (1791)

Right to trial by jury in civil cases. A party to a lawsuit for money or other non-criminal things shall have the right to a jury trial that cannot be set-aside by any court.



America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 8. Bails and Fines (1791)

There can be no excessive fines or punishment. No court can impose unusual, cruel or excessive fines or punishment, and this includes the requirement of excessive bail.




America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 9. Our Constitutional Rights (1791) 

Construction of the Constitution is in favor of the people. In the event there is any argument or debate, any right not actually listed by the Constitution is to be construed to be in favor of the people, not the government.



America’s Bill of Rights
Amendment 10. State’s Rights (1791)

The government is limited to only powers specified by the Constitution. Any powers not granted to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states and to the people.


This Concludes the Bill of Rights — the first 10 Amendments. The rest of the Amendments are not called the Bill of Rights. Click here to see them:
The Amendments to the Constitution





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