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Bill of Rights, 1791

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Bill of Rights PG 1
Courtesy of National Archives


The Bill of Rights is the first 10 Amendments added to the US Constitution. The rights listed are guaranteed to all Americans. The Bill of Rights was introduced and passed by the First Congress. The Amendments were then sent to the states for ratification.

Transcript of "Bill of Rights," 1791

Transcribed Excerpts from "Bill of Rights," 1791

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Consider Alexander Hamilton’s argument against a Bill of Rights in Federalist #84. Re-read the opening paragraph of the Bill of Rights. What justification is given for proposing a Bill of Rights? Which argument do you find more convincing? Explain.
  • What rights do you see carried through from the earliest source, Ancient Rights and Liberties of Great Britain, to the Bill of Rights? Why do you think the framers of the early US government brought those rights forward and not others?

Citation Information

Bill of Rights, September 25, 1789; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives.