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The Bill of Rights

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James Madison’s notes for his...
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James Madison’s notes for his speech introducing the Bill of Rights, June 8, 1789

Initially skeptical of the need for a bill of rights, Representative James Madison of Virginia became its leading proponent. His notes outlined objections to the proposed amendments and arguments for their adoption. Madison believed guaranteeing individual rights would guard against potential abuse of federal power and unify the nation in support of the new Constitution.

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1.   to prove fedts. [Federalists] friends to liberty
2.   remove remaining inquietudes
3.   bring in N.C. & R. Island
4.   to improve the Constitution

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress