Debates over the Bill of Rights in the First Congress

July 29, 1789

Mr. STEELE, from the committee appointed to examine into the proceedings of the several States on the subject of the amendments proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the United States, reported, in substance, as follows:

New Hampshire and New York accepted all the articles but the second.
Pennsylvania passed over in silence the first and second articles, and accepted the rest.
Delaware postponed the first article.

Maryland, South and North Carolina, and Rhode Island, ratified the whole. So that it appears the first article has been agreed to by six States; the second by five; and all the others by eight.

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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