Debates in the First Congress: The Five Dimensions of Development
- Madison’s Speech Proposing Amendments to the Constitution (June 8, 1789)
In this speech, Madison had difficulty persuading the Federalist majority in the House of Representatives to take seriously the issue of amending the Constitution. Some representatives doubted that amendments were needed while others argued that consideration be postponed. Madison insisted that Congress attend to the wishes of “a respectable number of our constituents,” that the representatives “incorporate such amendments in the Constitution as will secure those rights, which they consider as not sufficiently guarded.”
- Madison’s Proposals Integrated into the Constitution
by Gordon Lloyd
- Report of the House Select Committee (July 28, 1789)
On July 21, the House sent Madison’s proposals to a select committee, which produced this report.
- House Debates Select Committee Report (edited) (August 13-24, 1789)
The House debated the report of the select committee between August 13 and 24. The report and these debates show that Madison was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempt to “interweave” the proposed amendments into the body of the Constitution and to alter the Preamble of the Constitution to incorporate, expressly, the principles of the Declaration of Independence. He was successful, however, in limiting the scope of the amendments to a declaration of rights.
- House Approves Seventeen Amendments (August 24, 1789)
Following the debates in the House, seventeen amendments were approved.
- Senate Approves Twelve Amendments (September 9, 1789)
- First Congress Approves Twelve Amendments (September 25, 1789)
- House of Representatives Debates over the Bill of Rights in the House of Representatives during the First Congress (May-August 1789)
This is the complete record of the debates in the House of Representatives that occurred regarding the Bill of Rights.
- Senate Journal of the Debates over the Bill of Rights in the First Congress
- The Madison-Jefferson Exchange on Ratification and the Bill of Rights, Part III