United States Bill of Rights

On June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry spoke before Virginia's ratification convention in opposition to the Constitution.
George Washington's 1788 letter to the Marquis de Lafayette observed, "the Convention of Massachusetts adopted the Constitution in toto; but recommended a number of specific alterations and quieting explanations." Source: Library of Congress
James Madison, primary author and chief advocate for the Bill of Rights in the First Congress

The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

- United States Bill of Rights

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Portrait by Nathaniel Jocelyn

Elbridge Gerry

American Founding Father, politician, and diplomat who served as the fifth vice president of the United States under President James Madison from 1813 until his death in 1814.

American Founding Father, politician, and diplomat who served as the fifth vice president of the United States under President James Madison from 1813 until his death in 1814.

Portrait by Nathaniel Jocelyn
John Adams (portrait by John Trumbull) held Gerry in high regard.
Ann Thompson
Gerry supported economic policies of Federalist Alexander Hamilton (portrait by Ezra Ames).
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand (portrait by François Gérard) insisted Gerry remain in Paris, even after negotiations had failed.
The word "gerrymander" (originally written "Gerry-mander") was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette newspaper on March 26, 1812. Appearing with the term, and helping spread and sustain its popularity, was this political cartoon, which depicts a state senate district in Essex County as a strange animal with claws, wings and a dragon-type head, satirizing the district's odd shape.
Grave of Elbridge Gerry at Congressional Cemetery
Elbridge Gerry House in Marblehead
General George Washington Resigning His Commission, by John Trumbull, shows Gerry standing on the left.

He was one of three men who attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787 who refused to sign the United States Constitution because it did not include a Bill of Rights at the time it was signed.

Bill of Rights 1689

Landmark Act in the constitutional law of England that sets out certain basic civil rights and clarifies who would be next to inherit the Crown.

Landmark Act in the constitutional law of England that sets out certain basic civil rights and clarifies who would be next to inherit the Crown.

An 18th-century engraving, based on a drawing by Samuel Wale, of the Bill of Rights being presented to William III and Mary II

The Bill of Rights 1689 was one of the models for the United States Bill of Rights of 1789, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950.

Title page of the first collection of The Federalist (1788). This particular volume was a gift from Alexander Hamilton's wife Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton to her sister Angelica

The Federalist Papers

Collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the collective pseudonym "Publius" to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.

Collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the collective pseudonym "Publius" to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.

Title page of the first collection of The Federalist (1788). This particular volume was a gift from Alexander Hamilton's wife Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton to her sister Angelica
Alexander Hamilton, author of the majority of The Federalist Papers
James Madison, Hamilton's major collaborator, later fourth President of the United States (1809-1817)
An advertisement for the book edition of The Federalist
John Jay, author of five of The Federalist Papers, later became the first Chief Justice of the United States

In Federalist No. 84, Hamilton makes the case that there is no need to amend the Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights, insisting that the various provisions in the proposed Constitution protecting liberty amount to a "bill of rights."

George Mason was the principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights.

Virginia Declaration of Rights

Drafted in 1776 to proclaim the inherent rights of men, including the right to reform or abolish "inadequate" government.

Drafted in 1776 to proclaim the inherent rights of men, including the right to reform or abolish "inadequate" government.

George Mason was the principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights.

It influenced a number of later documents, including the United States Declaration of Independence (1776) and the United States Bill of Rights (1789).

Virginia

State in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains.

State in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains.

The story of Pocahontas was romanticized by later artists, in part because of her association with the First Families of Virginia.
Williamsburg was Virginia's capital from 1699 to 1780.
1851 painting of Patrick Henry's speech before the House of Burgesses on the Virginia Resolves against the Stamp Act of 1765
Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865, when it was partially burned by them prior to its recapture by Union forces.
Many World War I-era warships were built in Newport News, including the USS Virginia.
Protests in 2020 were focused on the Confederate monuments in the state.
Virginia is shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, and the parallel 36°30′ north.
Great Falls is on the fall line of the Potomac River, and its rocks date to the late Precambrian.
Oak trees in particular produce a haze of isoprene, which helps gives the Blue Ridge Mountains their signature color.
White-tailed deer are also known as Virginia deer, and up to seven thousand live in Shenandoah National Park.
Population density of Virginia counties and cities in 2020
New citizens attend a naturalization ceremony in Northern Virginia, where 25% of residents are foreign-born, almost twice the overall state average
Since 1927, Arlington National Cemetery has hosted an annual nondenominational sunrise service every Easter.
Virginia counties and cities by median household income (2010)
The Department of Defense is headquartered in Arlington at the Pentagon, the world's largest office building.
Ocean tourism is an important sector of Virginia Beach's economy.
Rockingham County accounts for twenty percent of Virginia's agricultural sales.
Colonial Virginian culture, language, and style are reenacted in Williamsburg.
Americana Roots Folk Rock band The Steel Wheels play at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville
The annual Pony Penning features more than two hundred wild ponies swimming across the Assateague Channel into Chincoteague.
USA Today, the nation's most circulated newspaper, has its headquarters in McLean.
Virginia's public schools serve over a million students at over 2,200 schools.
The University of Virginia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, guarantees full tuition scholarships to all in-state students from families earning up to $80,000.
Patients are screened for COVID-19 outside Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, the Navy's oldest continuously operating hospital.
The Silver Line extension of the Washington Metro system opened in Tysons Corner in 2014.
The Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson and Charles-Louis Clérisseau, is home to the Virginia General Assembly.
Unlike the federal system, justices of the Virginia Supreme Court have term limits and a mandatory retirement age, and select their own Chief Justice.
Mirroring Virginia's political transition, the annual Shad Planking event in Wakefield has evolved from a vestige of the Byrd era into a regular stop for many state campaigns.
Republicans gained seven seats (red) in the 2021 General Assembly elections.
Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, Virginia's two U.S. Senators, are both former governors.
The annual Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond has become one of the ten largest timed races in the U.S.
Mike Scott and Joe Harris of the Virginia Cavaliers battle Cadarian Raines of the Virginia Tech Hokies for a rebound at Cassell Coliseum
The state slogan, "Virginia is for Lovers", has been used since 1969 and is featured on the state's welcome signs.

James Madison drafted the Virginia Plan in 1787 and the Bill of Rights in 1789.

United States v. Cruikshank

United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court ruling that the Bill of Rights did not apply to private actors or to state governments despite the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Twenty-seventh Amendment (Amendment XXVII) to the United States Constitution prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of Congress from taking effect until after the next election of the House of Representatives has occurred.

The Twenty-seventh Amendment (Amendment XXVII) to the United States Constitution prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of Congress from taking effect until after the next election of the House of Representatives has occurred.

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

The last ten Articles were ratified in 1791 to become the Bill of Rights, but the first two, the Twenty-seventh Amendment and the proposed Congressional Apportionment Amendment, were not ratified by enough states to come into force with them.

National Archives and Records Administration

Independent agency of the United States government charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records.

Independent agency of the United States government charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records.

The Rotunda of the National Archives Building, where the Charters of Freedom documents are publicly exhibited
1930 Census Record from Naval Station Great Lakes, Lake County, Illinois.
The National Archives Building from Constitution Avenue

The National Archives, and its publicly exhibited Charters of Freedom, which include the original United States Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, United States Bill of Rights, and many other historical documents, is headquartered in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

Earl Warren

American lawyer, politician, and jurist who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States from 1953 to 1969.

American lawyer, politician, and jurist who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States from 1953 to 1969.

Warren as a U.S. Army officer in 1918
The René C. Davidson Courthouse, the main courthouse of the Alameda County Superior Court, completed in 1934
California Attorney General
Warren as Governor of California
Governor Warren meets a young "gold miner" as part of the California centennials, 1948–50
Chief Justice Earl Warren
The Warren Court (1953–1969)
President Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Nina Elisabeth Meyers (Warren's wife), November 1963
An "Impeach Earl Warren sign", posted in San Francisco in October 1958
Earl Warren presents the Commission's report to President Johnson on September 24, 1964.
Chief Justice Warren swears in President Nixon on January 20, 1969.
Grave at Arlington National Cemetery
Warren bust, U.S. Supreme Court
Earl Warren Hall, University of California, Berkeley
Earl Warren Building, headquarters of California Supreme Court (San Francisco)

Many of the Court's decisions incorporated the Bill of Rights, making the protections of the Bill of Rights apply to state and local governments.

Patrick Henry

American attorney, planter, politician and orator known for declaring to the Second Virginia Convention (1775): "Give me liberty, or give me death!" A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786.

American attorney, planter, politician and orator known for declaring to the Second Virginia Convention (1775): "Give me liberty, or give me death!" A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786.

View of Rural Plains near Totopotomoy Creek in Virginia. Henry was reportedly married to Sarah Shelton in the parlor.
Patrick Henry Arguing the Parson's Cause by George Cooke
Patrick Henry's "Treason" speech before the House of Burgesses in an 1851 painting by Peter F. Rothermel
19th century engraving of Washington (center), Henry (right) and Pendleton riding to Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress
Currier & Ives depiction of Henry giving his famous speech
Royal proclamation against Henry, 1775
Boulder and plaque marking former location of Leatherwood Plantation in Henry County, Virginia
Graves of Patrick Henry and his wife Dorothea in the family burying ground at Red Hill. Patrick's is on the right; the inscription reads, "His fame his best epitaph".
Red Hill Plantation, Charlotte County, Virginia, circa 1907
Patrick Henry $1 stamp, Liberty issue, 1955
1961 issue honoring Henry in the American Credo series

He actively opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution, both fearing a powerful central government and because there was as yet no Bill of Rights.