Why was the bill of rights added to the constitution?

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The original initial draft of the constitution was proposed in 1787 and was ratified later by all the states. The original constitution included very few individual rights as the writers of it focused more on the material that are necessary for Ã’šÃ‚ establishment of the new effective federal government. A delegate called Charles Pinckney proposed to add some rights like liberty of press, ban on quartering soldiers in private residence into the constitution. The committee could not implement any of these proposals. This matter became a big issue and was discussed in the convention on 12th September, 1787. After a debate on this issue, the proposal to introduce the Bill of Rights was rejected.

The main argument in the debate was that the constitution did not allow the federal government to control or regulate the inherent rights. So, the necessity of having the list of rights in constitution was not felt. Some were bothered that if the rights were listed, the list would always be vacant at the end to add a new one. They felt that the list would remain incomplete. Most of them argued that every state has its own constitution and the rights will be safeguarded at the state level.

The first congress had lot of function to carry out. The congress had more powers than it had under ‘Articles of Confederation,. The congress had to satisfy the individual interests of every State. James Madison, who was the father of constitution at last, felt the necessity of having the Bill of rights. Madison worked on the issue and allowed the debate to continue. But due to some stressful matters and tariffs he could not successfully make the Bill to be passed. Later, on 8th June, 1789 Madison submitted his draft of Bill of rights to re-initiate the discussions. From June till September the congress made heated discussions and debates on the rights. The list of rights was modified, added, removed and at the end the two houses expressed their consent to amend 12 articles. Later, in 1791, 10 of the 12 amendments were accepted to be added to the constitution. The Bill of Rights was added at the end of the document and was not added in the middle.

Author: Hari M

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