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How Many Amendments To The Constitution

There are 27 Amendments to the US Constitution. There has been only one ‘change’ in the Amendments, and that involves the 18th and 21st Amendments. The first enacted Prohibition, the latter repealed it. The first ten amendments were passed together and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights.

The original Constitution1 of the United States of America was approved on September 17, 1787. It happened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Federal Convention. Since then 27 changes, which are usually called “amendments”2 have been made to the U.S. Constitution.

James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, proposed the first ten amendments. They constituted the Bill of Rights. These amendments were ratified in 1791. The other seventeen amendments were put into function subsequently. The last one was endorsed on May 7, 1992. Though there are 27 amendments to the Constitution of the USA, only 26 of them are in function. The point is that the 21st amendment annulled the 18th one.

The procedure of amending is described in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. The procedure consists of two different parts. First, an amendment proposal must be supported by 2/3 majority of both Houses of the Congress. Second, 3/4 of the states must approve it. An amendment proposal should be ratified in a seven years period. If it fails to be approved within this time, it is called “expired”.

List of amendments to the United States Constitution

Number Amendments Proposal date Enactment date
1st Protects the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
2nd Protects an individual’s right to bear arms September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
3rd Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers out of war time September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
4th Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
5th Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
6th Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
7th Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
8th Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
9th Protects rights not enumerated in the constitution. September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
10th Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
11th Immunity of states from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders. Lays the foundation for sovereign immunity March 4, 1794 February 7, 1795
12th Revises presidential election procedures December 9, 1803 June 15, 1804
13th Abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime January 31, 1865 December 6, 1865
14th Defines citizenship, contains the Privileges or Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and deals with post-Civil War issues June 13, 1866 July 9, 1868
15th Prohibits the denial of suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude February 26, 1869 February 3, 1870
16th Allows the federal government to collect income tax July 12, 1909 February 3, 1913
17th Establishes the direct election of United States Senators by popular vote May 13, 1912 April 8, 1913
18th Establishes Prohibition of alcohol (Repealed by Twenty-first Amendment) December 18, 1917 January 16, 1919
19th Establishes women’s suffrage June 4, 1919 August 18, 1920
20th Fixes the dates of term commencements for Congress (January 3) and the President (January 20); known as the “lame duck amendment” March 2, 1932 January 23, 1933
21st Repeals the Eighteenth Amendment February 20, 1933 December 5, 1933
22nd Limits the president to two terms, or a maximum of 10 years (i.e., if a Vice President serves not more than one half of a President’s term, he or she can be elected to a further two terms) March 24, 1947 February 27, 1951
23rd Provides for representation of Washington, D.C. in the Electoral College June 16, 1960 March 29, 1961
24th Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of poll taxes September 14, 1962 January 23, 1964
25th Codifies the Tyler Precedent; defines the process of presidential succession July 6, 1965 February 10, 1967
26th Establishes the official voting age to be 18 years old. March 23, 1971 July 1, 1971
27th Prevents laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until the beginning of the next session of Congress September 25, 1789 May 5, 1992


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