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  1. Twenty-five of these constitutional amendments are currently active. The two amendments of the constitution that are inactive are the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) and the 21st Amendment (Repeal of Prohibition). You can also download a PDF of the 27 Amendments if you wish to.

    • 2nd Amendment

      The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution is a...

    • 4th Amendment

      The Founding Fathers respected English law and used it in...

  2. Thirty-three amendments to the Constitution of the United States have been proposed by the United States Congress and sent to the states for ratification since the Constitution was put into operation on March 4, 1789. Twenty-seven of those, having been ratified by the requisite number of states, are part of the Constitution.

    • First Amendment
    • Second Amendment
    • Third Amendment
    • Fourth Amendment
    • Fifth Amendment
    • Sixth Amendment
    • Seventh Amendment
    • Eighth Amendment
    • Ninth Amendment
    • 10th Amendment

    In order to secure support for the Constitution among Anti-Federalists, who feared it gave too much power to the national government at the expense of individual states, James Madison agreed to draft a Bill of Rights during the first session of Congress. Of these first 10 amendments, the First Amendment is arguably the most famous and most importan...

    The text of the Second Amendment reads: “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.” During the Revolutionary War era, “militia” referred to groups of men who banded together to protect their communities, towns, coloniesand eventually states. Diff...

    This amendment prohibits the quartering of militia in private homes in either war or peacetime without consent of the homes’ owners. As a reaction against past laws allowing British soldiers to take shelter in colonists’ homes whenever they wanted, the Third Amendmentdoesn’t appear to have much constitutional relevance today, as the federal governm...

    The Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” also grew directly out of colonial Americans’ experiences prior to the Revolutionary War. Most notably, British authorities made use of general warrants, which were court orders that all...

    In addition to the famous right to refuse to testify against oneself (or “plead the Fifth”), the Fifth Amendment establishes other key rights for defendants in criminal proceedings, including the need for formal accusation by a grand jury and the protection against double jeopardy, or being tried for the same crime twice. It also requires the feder...

    The Sixth Amendment also deals with protecting the rights of people against possible violations by the criminal justice system. It ensures the right to a public trial by an impartial jury without a significant delay and gives defendants the right to hear the charges against them, call and cross-examine witnesses and retain a lawyer to defend them i...

    With the Seventh Amendment, Madison addressed two Anti-Federalist concerns: that the document failed to require jury trials for civil (non-criminal) cases, and that it gave the Supreme Court the power to overturn the factual findings of juries in lower courts. Considered one of the most straightforward amendments in the Bill or Rights, the Seventh ...

    The Eighth Amendment continues the theme of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments by targeting potential abuses on the part of the criminal justice system. In banning the requirement of “excessive bail,” the imposition of “excessive fines,” and the infliction of “cruel and unusual punishment,” but leaving the exact interpretation of these terms unclear, i...

    During the debate that produced the Bill of Rights, skeptics argued that by listing such fundamental rights in the Constitution, the framers would be implying that the rights they did not list did not exist. Madison sought to allay these fears with the Ninth Amendment. It ensures that even while certain rights are enumerated in the Constitution, pe...

    As the final amendment in the Bill of Rights, the 10th Amendment originally aimed to reassure Anti-Federalists by further defining the balance of power between the national government and those of the individual states. According to the 10th Amendment, the federal government’s powers are limited to those expressly given to it by the Constitution, w...

  3. Since 1789 the Constitution has been amended 27 times; of those amendments, the first 10 are collectively known as the Bill of Rights and were certified on December 15, 1791. First Amendment (1791) Second Amendment (1791)

    • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
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  5. All told, we have ratified 27 constitutional amendments across American history. We can divide these amendments into four different periods of constitutional reform: The Founding era 1791 – 1804 Gave us our first 12 amendments, including the Bill of Rights. The Reconstruction era 1865 – 1870

  6. This page is a list of the amendments to the United States Constitution. Since the Constitution went into effect on March 4, 1789, twenty-seven amendments have been added to the Constitution. This page gives just a short summary of each of these amendments. For more information about each amendment, click on the links in the box at the right of ...

  7. Jun 14, 2022 · Use the links below to learn more about the most often-researched constitutional amendments, or keep scrolling to view the original text of all twenty-seven amendments. Constitutional law can be complex.

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