Politics & Government / How Many Amendments Are to the Constitution
How Many Amendments Are to the Constitution
The original Constitution1 of the United States of America was approved on September 17, 1787. It happened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Federal Convention. Since then 27 changes, which are usually called “amendments”2 have been made to the U.S. Constitution.
James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, proposed the first ten amendments. They constituted the Bill of Rights3. These amendments were ratified in 1791. The other seventeen amendments were put into function subsequently.
The last one was endorsed on May 7, 1992. Though there are 27 amendments to the Constitution of the USA, only 26 of them are in function. The point is that the 21st amendment annulled the 18th one.
The procedure of amending is described in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. The procedure consists of two different parts. First, an amendment proposal must be supported by 2/3 majority of both Houses of the Congress. Second, 3/4 of the states must approve it. An amendment proposal should be ratified in a seven years period. If it fails to be approved within this time, it is called “expired”.
The table below explains all the amendments to the Constitution.
Freedom of religion, speech, press, petition and peaceful assembly.
The right to bear arms.
No forced quartering of soldiers.
No unreasonable searching or seizures.
In criminal cases trial only by jury, no self-incrimination or double jeopardy.
The right to fair and speedy trial, legal representation, and knowledge of accusation.
In civil cases trial by jury according to law.
No unusual or cruel punishment, excessive fines and bails.
Not specified rights are retained by people.
Limitation of the federal government’s powers to the specified in the U.S. Constitution.
Sovereign immunity foundation.
New procedure of presidential election
Abolition of slavery.
Definition of citizenship.
No denial of suffrage based on color, race, or former condition of servitude.
The federal government has the right to collect income taxes.
Senators are elected by popular vote.
Prohibition of alcohol (annulled by the 21st amendment).
No denial of suffrage based on sex.
Details regarding presidential and congressional terms.
Repeals the 18th amendment.
The President is limited to two terms in office.
The District of Columbia gets representation in the Electoral College.
No tax payments for the right to vote.
Definition of the presidential succession process.
The voting age is 18 years old.
Laws which affect Congressional salary, take effect with the beginning of the next Congress.
The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the USA. It was adopted on the 17th of September, 1787, and ratified the same year.
An amendment is a change to the Constitution text.
The Bill of Rights is the name for the very first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. It serves to protect the rights of the people including freedoms of speech, religion, free press, etc. The Bill of Rights was introduced by James Madison.