On December 15, 1791, a legal document entered into force, becoming part of the Constitution, although not included in it. This document, known as the Bill of Rights, is considered to be the basic guarantee of rights and freedom for every American. Here is a look at the history and interesting facts about the Bill of Rights.
In the 18th century, the American Constitution had a serious flaw – the absence of articles on human rights. Senator and 4th US President, James Madison, presented ten amendments to address this issue. The document was adopted and entered into force, and is now known as the Bill of Rights. The amendments can be divided into two categories: civil rights and freedoms, and their implementation guarantees.
The Bill first appeared in 1215 in Britain. It was the only document at the time that limited the power of the king. The original version included 12 amendments, two of which were not approved. Interestingly, the amendments of the Bill of Rights were successfully used as the basis for the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Here are some notable moments regarding the Bill of Rights:
- It is considered to be a real breakthrough in the development of the civil society in the United States.
- Not everyone unanimously supported the Bill; Georgia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts remained on the sidelines. Ratification of the Bill only took place in 1939.
- The document went on a tour around the country on the Liberty Train. The travel time was 18 months.
- Madison was sure that the Bill would not bring success. However, it ended up saving the Constitution of the country.
- There were originally 14 handwritten copies of the Bill, only 12 of which remain today.
How to take part
You can learn more about American history on Bill of Rights Day by consulting historians, watching documentaries, or studying literature. Tell others about the holiday and involve them in an exciting journey into the past!
When is Bill of Rights Day celebrated in 2023?
Bill of Rights Day is observed on December 15 each year.