History of the United States
US Constitution
Bill of Rights

How many amendments are in the Bill of Rights?

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2014-08-22 16:52:28

There are 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights.

In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the name by

which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution

are known. They were introduced by James Madison to the First

United States Congress in 1789 as a series of constitutional

amendments, and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they

had been ratified by three-fourths of the States.

Two additional articles were proposed to the States; only the

final ten articles were ratified quickly and correspond to the

First through Tenth Amendments to the Constitution. The first

Article, dealing with the number and apportionment of U.S.

Representatives, never became part of the Constitution. The second

Article, limiting the ability of Congress to increase the salaries

of its members, was ratified two centuries later as the 27th

Amendment. Though they are incorporated into the document known as

the "Bill of Rights", neither article establishes a right as that

term is used today. For that reason, and also because the term had

been applied to the first ten amendments long before the 27th

Amendment was ratified, the term "Bill of Rights" in modern U.S.

usage means only the ten amendments ratified in 1791.

Right after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, twelve amendments

were proposed that address deficiencies that were expressed during

the ratification process, but only eleven have been ratified to

date. The 3rd through 12th of the proposed amendments were ratified

in the early 1790s and are known as the Bill of Rights. The second

of the proposed amendments was ratified 200 years later, and the

first has not yet been ratified.

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