Congress Creates the Bill of Rights: Completing the Constitution 1.0

Author: Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives

Subject: education; US Bill of Rights; US Constitution; US Congress; First Congress; First Federal Congress; US National Archives; US Center for Legislative Archives; US House of Representatives; US Senate; James Madison; Federalist; Anti-Federalist; American history; Charters of Freedom; amendments; debate; vote; compromise; documents; lesson plans; educational resources

Publisher: Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives

This remarkable story focuses on James Madison’s leadership role in creating the Bill of Rights, effectively completing the Constitution. Starting with the crises facing the nation in the 1780s, the narrative traces the call for constitutional amendments from the state ratification conventions. Through close examination of the Senate Revisions to the House Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (referred to as the Senate Mark-up), the reader goes inside the First Congress, as Madison and the leaders of rival political factions worked in the House and Senate to formulate amendments to change the recently ratified Constitution.