Resolution of the First Congress Submitting Twelve Amendments to the Constitution
Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States
Selected, Arranged, and Indexed by Charles C. Tansill
RESOLUTION OF THE FIRST CONGRESS SUBMITTING TWELVE AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.1
Congress of the United States,
begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution:
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures o the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution.
&nbps; ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of th United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant t the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Article the first
After the first enumberation required by the first Article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shalll amount to one hundred, after which, the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.
Article the second No law, varying the ocmpensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
Article the third Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting th efree exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Article the fourth A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Article the fifth No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, wihout the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be perscribed by law.
Article the sixth The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Article the seventh No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment of indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himslef, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Article the eighth In all criminal prosecution, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counself of his defence.
Article the ninth In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial. by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a fury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Article the tenth Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Article the eleventh The enumeration in the Consitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Article the twelfth The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the Strates respectively, or to the people.
FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG Speaker
of the House of Representatives.
JOHN ADAMS, Vice-President of the United States,
and President of the Senate.
JOHN BECKLEY, Cleark of the House of Representatives.
SAM. A. OTIS Secretary of the Senate.2
- Reprinted from Documentary History of the Constitution, Vol. II (1894), pp. 321-324.Return to text
- The proposed amendments were transmitted to the legislatures of the several States, upon which the following action was taken:
By the State of New Hampshire.Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except to 2d article.
By the State of New York.Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the 2d. article.
By the State of Pennsylvania.Agreed to the 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th articles of the said amendments.
By the State of Delaware.Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the 1st article.
By the State of Maryland.Agreed to the whole of the said twelve amendments.
By the State of South Carolina.Agreed to the whole said twelve amendments.
By the State of North Carolina.Agreed to the whole of the said twelve amendments.
By the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.Agreed to the whole of the said twelve articles.
By the State of New Jersey.Agreed to the whole of the said amendments, except the second article.
By the State of Virginia.Agreed to the whole of the said twelve articles (Elliot’s Debates, Vol. I, pp. 339-340.)
No returns were made by the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia, and Kentucky.
The amendments thus proposed became a part of the constitutionthe first and second of them excepted; which were not ratified by a sufficient number of the state legislatures. (Journal of the Federal Convention, 1819, Supplement, p. 481.) Return to text