Bill of Rights

Several states refused to ratify the Constitution unless a Bill of Rights guaranteeing the rights of individuals was attached to it. Eventually the two sides reached a compromise and included the present Bill of Rights. In 1789, James Madison wrote 12 amendments, of which the Convention ratified 10 in 1791. The amendments protected the right of free speech; freedom of the press; freedom to peaceably assemble; freedom to petition the government; freedom of religion; the right to bear arms; the right not to have soldiers quartered at one’s home; the right to a fair and speedy trial; the right to a trial by jury; the right not to have to testify against oneself. Rights and powers not specifically granted to Congress by the Constitution were reserved for the states and the people.

Source: Bill of Rights
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