Why was the Bill of Rights added to the United States Constitution?


Quick Answer

The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution to guarantee the protection of the people from a strong central government. It served as a compromise between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists to achieve the ratification of the Constitution.

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Why was the Bill of Rights added to the United States Constitution?
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Full Answer

The Bill of Rights was the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. It is one of the most historical and treasured documents that is the foundation of basic American liberties. The Bill of Rights officially became part of the Constitution on December 15, 1791. Its laws specified the fundamental rights of the American citizens.

The original Constitution of the United States, which was proposed in 1787, provided very few individual rights for the people. During the Constitutional Convention, some delegates, known as the Anti-Federalists, clamored for the addition of a bill of rights to the Constitution. They feared that a strong federal government would abuse its citizens unless guarantees of basic rights and liberties were provided. They argued for several amendments including religious freedom, freedom of speech and of the press, the right against excessive bail and fines and for protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Many of the proposed provisions limited the powers of the federal government.

Although the Federalists deemed the addition of the Bill of Rights unnecessary, they were forced to pledge their support so that the Constitution can be ratified.

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