Reluctant Father of the Bill of Rights: The Evolution of James Madison's Stance on Amendments to the Constitution




Zimmerman , Hannah

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The United States Bill of Rights serves as the foundation of freedom and liberty in American society today, and it has remained a highly respected standard throughout the nation’s history. When examining its origin, James Madison was the strongest advocate who ensured these protections would be enshrined in the Constitution to safeguard the civil liberties of the American people. Initially, Madison was not in favor of adding these amendments to the Constitution, but with time, he became not only the Father of the Constitution, but also the chief architect of the Bill of Rights. Regardless of the true motive for his mind change, without Madison’s dedication to drafting and introducing the amendments to his fellow members of the House of Representatives, the Bill of Rights may have never made it past the First Session of Congress. This thesis will explore Madison’s changing opinion on amendments, and it will also discuss the many challenges he faced to get these additions incorporated into the United States Constitution.



James Madison, United States History, Bill of Rights, Constitution, Founding Era