The U.S. Constitution has 27 amendments. The first 10, constituting the Bill of Rights, were written in 1791 as part of the original document. As of 2014, the most recent amendment to the Constitution was the 27th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1992, which regulated congressional pay rates.
In order to amend the Constitution, the amendment must be proposed by both houses of Congress. A proposal is achieved by passing the amendment with a two-thirds majority vote. Following the proposal, three-fourths of the state's legislatures must also approve the amendment by a two-thirds vote. As of 1919, there is a seven-year time limit on proposal and ratification.Learn More
Patrick Henry opposed the U.S. Constitution because he believed that it gave too much power to the central government at the expense of the state governments. This Anti-Federalist position caused him to avoid the Constitutional Convention of 1787, though he did argue against the adopting the Constitution at Virginia's constitutional convention.Full Answer >
The Federalists favored ratification of the United States Constitution because they believed that the U.S. would not survive unless the Constitution was passed. They also argued that a stronger national government was needed after the Articles of Confederation failed. The ratification would split the government into three equal branches, which the Federalists believed would reduce the chances of tyranny.Full Answer >
The new Constitution of the United States of America, drafted in September of 1787 and finally ratified by all 13 states in 1790, was met with substantial approval from Thomas Jefferson. He did, however, disagree about a number of issues, many of which were handled by later amendments.Full Answer >
James Madison earned the nickname "the father of the U.S. Constitution" for his contributions during the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Madison drafted the Virginia Plan, a proposal by the Virginia delegates to divide the government's powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches.Full Answer >