Portrait of James Madison.

On June 8, 1789, James Madison presented a draft proposal in Congress for a bill of rights.

Bill of Rights Quick Facts

December 15, 1791

Quick Facts About Bill of Rights

On August 20, 1787, Charles Pinckney submitted a proposal to the Committee on Detail at the Constitutional Convention to include several personal rights guarantees but the Committee did not adopt any of Pinckney’s recommendations.

On September 12, 1787, following brief debate, delegates at the Constitutional Convention rejected proposals to include a Bill or Rights in the Constitution.

The ratifying conventions of five states that ratified the Constitution (Massachusetts, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, and New York) requested or demanded that a bill of rights be added to the document

Rhode Island did not ratify the Constitution until after the first Congress approved a proposal for the Bill of Rights.

On June 8, 1789, James Madison presented a draft proposal in Congress for a bill of rights.

On September 25, 1789, Congress proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification.

The first two proposed amendments to the Constitution had nothing to do with the guaranteed rights of U.S. citizens and neither amendment was ratified.

Of the first 12 amendments to the Constitution proposed by Congress, numbers 3 through 12 comprised the Bill of Rights.

On October 2, 1789, President Washington sent each state a copy of the 12 amendments adopted by the Congress, to be considered for amending the Constitution.

On November 20, 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

When Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791, three-fourths of the states had ratified the 10 amendments, making them a part of the U.S. Constitution.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Bill of Rights Quick Facts
  • Coverage December 15, 1791
  • Author
  • Keywords bill of rights
  • Website Name American History Central
  • URL
  • Access Date March 29, 2020
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 2, 2019

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