The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a speedy trial with a jury of other citizens, to know the crimes you are accused of, and to confront witnesses presented by the government. This amendment also gives defendants the right to invite witnesses to testify, as well as the right to legal representation. James Madison introduced 12 amendments to the First Congress in 1789. Ten of these amendments would be translated into what we now call the Bill of Rights. One of them never happened; and the other, dealing with congressional salaries, was not ratified until 1992, when it became the 27th Amendment. Based on the Virginia Bill of Rights, the English Bill of Rights, Enlightenment period publications, and the rights defined in the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights contains what many now consider to be fundamental rights of the United States. The founders also undertook the arduous task of establishing relations between States. Each state is required to place “full confidence and merit” in the laws, records, treaties and legal procedures of other states, although Congress can regulate how states share their cases and define the scope of this clause. States are prohibited from discriminating against citizens of other States for any reason and from imposing customs duties on each other. States are also obliged to extradite persons accused of a crime to other States for trial. The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive bail and fines, as well as cruel and unusual punishment. The need for a constitution stemmed from problems with the Articles of Confederation, which established a “firm alliance of friendship” between the states and gave the Congress of the Confederacy the most power. However, this power was extremely limited – it was the central government that conducted diplomacy and declared war, determined weights and measures, and was the decisive arbiter in disputes between states.

It should be noted that the central government could not raise its own funds and depended entirely on the states for the money needed to carry out its operations. Each state sent a delegation to Congress of two to seven members, who voted en bloc and voted once per state. However, every important decision required a unanimous vote, resulting in a paralyzed and unsuccessful government. The Tenth Amendment assigns to states, states, or peoples all powers not conferred or prohibited in the United States. One of the main points of contention between federalists and anti-federalists was the absence of a list of fundamental civil rights in the constitution. Many federalists have argued, as in section 84 of the federalist articles, that people do not give up their rights by adopting the Constitution. In many states, however, the ratification debate revolved around the adoption of a bill of rights. The solution became known as the Massachusetts Compromise, in which four states ratified the Constitution but at the same time sent recommendations for amendments to Congress. States have begun to ratify the Convention, with some continuing to debate more intensively than others.

On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify. After New Hampshire became the ninth state to be liberated on September 22, New Hampshire. In June 1788, the Congress of Confederation fixed March 9, 1789 as the date of entry into force of the Constitution. By that time, all states except North Carolina and Rhode Island had ratified — on May 29, 1790, the Ocean State ratified the last state to do so. The Fifth Amendment prohibits citizens from being prosecuted and punished without due process. A citizen cannot be tried twice for the same facts and is protected against self-incrimination (the right to remain silent). This amendment also establishes the power of expropriation and ensures that private property is not confiscated for public purposes without fair compensation. Once the wording and details of the Constitution were established, the Convention began writing it down on paper. The Constitution was handwritten by Pennsylvania Representative Governor Morris, whose position gave him the power to define punctuation in certain clauses of the Constitution. Governor Morris is also credited with the famous preamble written at the top of the page.

On September 17, 1787, 39 of the 55 delegates signed the new document. Many of those who refused to sign rejected the absence of a bill of rights. At least one delegate refused to sign because the constitution codified and protected slavery and the slave trade. In this way, a movement to reform the Articles was initiated, and in 1787 invitations were sent to the state legislatures to attend a convention in Philadelphia to discuss changes to the Articles. In May of that year, delegates from 12 of the 13 states (Rhode Island did not send representatives) met in Philadelphia to begin the reorganization of government. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention quickly began work on a draft of the new U.S. Constitution. One of the main objectives of the Constitution, as formulated in the Convention, was to create a Government with sufficient power to act at the national level, but without so much power that fundamental rights were threatened. One way to achieve this was to divide the power of government into three branches and to introduce control mechanisms for these branches to ensure that no one branch of government took control of the others.

This concern stemmed mainly from the delegates` experience with the King of England and his powerful parliament. The Constitution enumerates the powers of each branch; Competences not assigned to these branches are reserved to each State. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from inappropriate searches. The government cannot conduct searches without a warrant, and these warrants must be issued by a judge and based on probable grounds. Much of the debate, which was conducted in secret to ensure that delegates could express their opinions, focused on the form of the new legislation. Two plans competed with the goal of becoming the new government: the Virginia plan, which divided representation based on each state`s population, and the New Jersey plan, which gave each state an equal vote in Congress. The Virginia Plan was supported by the larger states and the New Jersey Plan was the preferred option for the smaller states. In the end, they opted for the Great Compromise (sometimes called the Connecticut Compromise), in which the House of Representatives would represent the people based on the population of each state; in the Senate, each state would have the same power of representation; and the president would be elected by the Electoral College. The plan also called for the establishment of an independent judiciary.

The Seventh Amendment ensures that civil cases retain the right to a jury trial. The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms. The Third Amendment prohibited the government from housing soldiers in private homes, one of the greatest abuses committed during the American Revolution. The First Amendment ensures that Congress cannot pass a law establishing an official religion or prohibiting the free exercise of a particular religion. This amendment protects freedom of expression, press and assembly, as well as the right to seek redress from the government for grievances. The founders also established a procedure by which the constitution could be amended; Since ratification, 27 amendments have been made. To avoid arbitrary changes, the change process is quite complex. An amendment may be proposed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress; or if two-thirds of the States request an amendment by means of a convention adopted to that effect. The amendment must be ratified by three-quarters of the state legislators or by three-fourths of the conventions convened for ratification in each state. In modern times, a period of time has traditionally been set during which this process must be carried out in order to make changes, usually a period of several years. In addition, the Constitution provides that no amendment may deny a State equal participation in the Senate without the consent of that State.