Constitution in effect before Bill of Rights

The Wellington writer in the March 17 Appeal who, in defense of Sagebrush Rebels in the Jarbidge affair, stated that he had studied our U.S. Constitution and that "The U.S. Constitution might never have been ratified (supremacy clause or not) had not the first 10 amendments been included," was quite in error. Our constitution without any amendments went into effect March 4, 1789. Our Bill of Rights became effective Dec. 19, 1791.

Operating under the Articles of Confederation, a call was made for each state to send delegates for a constitutional convention by May 14, 1787. Twelve states participated (Rhode Island never sent delegates). Of the 74 selected, only 55 ever came ... some late, some left early, some came and went. Only 39 signed the proposed constitution; three who were present refused to sign!

Out constitution went into effect Mach 4, 1789!

Operating under out Constitution, our first congress at its first session March 4, 1789, with only 21 members present, could not transact business until more members showed up about a month later.

On June 8, 1789, 12 constitutional amendments were considered and on Sept. 25, 1789, went to the states for ratification and were passed by our first congress Dec. 25, 1789.

Ten of the 12 amendments were ratified ( by at least 10 states) and became effective Dec. 1, 1791.

(Of the two other proposed amendments not ratified by the states, one relating to compensation for members of Congress was ratified in 1922 and became the 27th amendment.)


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