• Introduction
  • Origins
  • Ratification
  • Politics
  • Interactive

Introduction to the Bill of Rights

Learn about the Bill of Rights and this web site, including an overview of the site showing the origins of the Bill of Rights by amendment.

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Documentary Origins of the Bill of Rights

The idea of written rights is as old as the Magna Carta. Explore the English, Colonial, State, and Continental origins of the Bill of Rights.

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Federalist/ Antifederalist Debate

The call for a Bill of Rights began with the debate over the ratification of the Constitution. Read what was said in newspaper articles and in state ratification debates about the need for a Bill of Rights.

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The Politics of the Bill of Rights

James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights in the First Congress. Learn about the debates in Congress and the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

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Interactive Chart on the Origins of the Bill of Rights

Explore the documentary origins of each right contained in the Bill of Rights.

Interact

Contents

Introduction

Introductions, the documentary history of each amendment, and major themes about the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

From Political Liberty to Social Freedom

Using artwork, see how the idea of rights has changed throughout American history.

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Documentary Origins and Politics of the Bill of Rights

Interactive chart showing the origins of each of the rights in the Bill of Rights.

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