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Madison’s Notes for His Speech Introducing the Bill of Rights, June 8, 1789

James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights in the House of Representatives and provided many of the intellectual arguments for strengthening and amending the Constitution so that it protected basic liberties.

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Madison’s Notes for His Speech Introducing the Bill of Rights Madison’s Notes for His Speech Introducing the Bill of Rights

Drafting the Bill of Rights - 1

The first Congress wrote the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. Known as the Bill of Rights, they are part of the bedrock of our national government. The amendments guarantee citizens’ individual rights and liberties. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention had disagreed over the wisdom of naming such rights within the Constitution, but members of the First Congress, fresh from the struggle against monarchy, insisted on limiting the powers of a central government within a republic.