Monthly Archives: December 2016

Bill of Rights ratified over two centuries ago today

On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, was adopted after being ratified by three fourths of the states.  Support for a Bill of Rights gained momentum during the ratification process, with many Framers and state legislators arguing that the new Constitution needed to do more to guarantee certain freedoms for citizens.  Originally twelve Amendments were proposed, by the original first and second Amendments, which discussed numbers of Congressional Representatives and Representative and Senator pay, were not adopted at the time.

Watch our film, The Bill of Rights to learn about the fight behind this landmark founding document, and the rights it’s intended to protect.

Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution 229 years ago today

On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution.  Article VII of the Constitution required that 9 out of the original 13 colonies ratify the document for it to be adopted.  On June 21, the following year, New Hampshire became that 9th state.  Rhode Island became the last state to ratify the Constitution nearly 2 years later in May of 1790.

Read more about the ratification process at the National Archives.