Debates over the Bill of Rights in the First Congress

June 1, 1789

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

A message was received from the President of the United States, informing the House, that he had received official information of the ratification and adoption of the Constitution of the United States, by the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, on which event he congratulated the House. A letter from the President of the Convention to the President of the United States accompanied the message, which read.

RHODE ISLAND.

Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, then moved that the Committee of the whole should be discharged from considering the bill to prevent a commercial intercourse with the State of Rhode Island, &c., which was immediately put and carried in the affirmative.

On motion of Mr. SEDGWICK, a committee was appointed to report a bill or bills for giving effect to the laws of the United States, in respect to the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

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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