The 27 amendments to the United States Constitution are additions that were ratified by the required number of states and have formally become part of the Constitution. The original 10 amendments were established in 1791, and the remaining amendments have been gradually adopted over time.
The first 10 amendments are collectively called the Bill of Rights, and they were adopted only two years after the Constitution was ratified. These amendments collectively cover a wide range of fundamental individual rights and put limits on government power. Among them are the rights to free speech and protest, the right to bear arms, the requirements for search warrants and trial rights.
While all amendments to the Constitution are important, some stand out more than others in terms of historical importance. The 13th amendment abolished slavery, the 15th allowed all races to vote, the 19th assured women of the right to vote, the 22nd established term limits for presidents, and the 26th set the minimum voting age at 18.
The 18th amendment, which prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol, was noteworthy for later being repealed by the 21st amendment. As of 2015, the most recent of the 17 amendments was adopted in 1992, but was originally submitted for ratification in 1789.