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What Are the First 10 Amendments Called?

Photo of US Constitution

The first 10 amendments were created to try and persuade certain states to accept the whole constitution.

It was difficult getting the United States Constitution ratified because many states felt it gave too much power to the Federal Government and not enough to the people.

What are the first 10 amendments called?

The first 10 amendments are called the Bill of Rights.

To learn more about the Bill of Rights and the first 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights, continue reading.

The First 10 Amendments

Throughout America’s history and the birth of the United States Constitution, ten amendments have proved vital to the country’s development as the greatest nation in the world.

United States flag
United States flag, which represents the freedoms of living in America with the Bill of Rights.

These ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.

As the first ten and most significant amendments to the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights focuses on the individual rights and freedoms of the American people.

It safeguards against any potential overreach attempted by the federal or state government.

Below, we’ll examine the Bill of Rights, the reason for its existence, and why it was created in the first place.

What Is the Bill of Rights?

The Bill of Rights, simply put, are the first ten amendments added to the US Constitution, first enacted in 1791. They include the following:

1stProtects the freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition
2ndProtects the right to keep and bear arms
3rdProhibits the government from quartering soldiers in private homes during peacetime
4thProtects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant or probable cause
5thProvides protections for citizens accused of crimes, including protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and loss of life, liberty, or property without due process of law
6thGuarantees the right to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial jury in criminal cases
7thGuarantees the right to a trial by jury in civil cases
8thProhibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishment
9thAffirms that the people have rights not listed in the Constitution
10thReserves powers not granted to the federal government to the states or the people

The table above provides a brief description of the first 10 amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights, which were added to the US Constitution to protect individual liberties and limit the power of the federal government.

First Amendment – The Freedom of Speech

The First Amendment is considered the most important amendment throughout the entirety of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution as a whole. 

The 1st Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech.

The 1st Amendment protects the American people from governmental sanctions and attacks for expressing unpopular or offensive opinions and from persecution due to their particular religious or faith-based beliefs.

The First Amendment similarly protects the rights of journalists from persecution by the government, allowing them to serve as watchdogs for corruption or an abuse of power.

The Freedom of Speech is our most vital freedom. It allows citizens the right and ability to freely communicate thoughts and ideas, regardless of what the governmental powers deem to be allowed at that period in time.

Second Amendment – The Right to Bear Arms

A somewhat divisive amendment with multiple interpretations, the Second Amendment essentially states that the people have the fundamental right to bear arms in defense of a free state. 

Gun and ammunition
The 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.

This sentiment has been considered and interpreted in multiple ways depending on a person’s personal views surrounding guns and gun control.

Advocates for guns argue that the Second Amendment’s final line on “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” clearly states that the right to carry guns is guaranteed.

Meanwhile, those who advocate for gun control and safety contend that the line “A well-regulated militia” implies that only an established militia should be allowed to carry guns and only appropriately regulated guns.

Third Amendment – The Freedom Against Quartering of Soldiers

A reasonably simple amendment, the Third Amendment, states that no citizen is legally required to allow military or armed forces members to reside in their homes or private property.

While not as contentious as the others on this list, this freedom is important, particularly considering the British parliament’s Quartering Acts, which forced military men into private homes during the Revolutionary War.

Fourth Amendment – The Freedom Against Search & Seizure

Considered by many to be either unnecessarily broad or freedom that is constantly ignored by many police and governmental officials, the Fourth Amendment is stated to protect against illegal search and seizure, especially without probable cause.

Police search
The 4th Amendment relates to protections against illegal search and seizure.

Because this has been interpreted in multiple ways, police have been known to abuse the inclusive statement of “probable cause” to perform unlawful searches in homes or of a person’s property.

Fifth Amendment – The Right to Due Process

The Fifth Amendment guarantees an American the fundamental right to due process. It can also be invoked to avoid self-incrimination when speaking on trial. 

This is primarily because, while a person is under oath, they are bound to speak honestly. By invoking the Fifth Amendment, they can prevent themselves from potentially incriminating themselves while not committing perjury.

The Sixth Amendment – The Right to a Speedy Trial

The Sixth Amendment is pretty straightforward as it guarantees the accused a trial as quickly as possible while also in public and among a jury of their peers. 

US Courtroom
The 6th Amendment guarantees a speedy trial.

This is because, before its introduction, the accused could be placed in holding for their trial indefinitely or given “secret trials” where there may not be fairness or impartiality.

Seventh Amendment – The Right to a Jury Trial in Civil Suits

The Seventh Amendment states that all accused are guaranteed a jury trial, regardless of the severity of the crime.

The Eighth Amendment – The Freedom Against Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Eighth Amendment ensures that those convicted of a crime are not forced to pay excessive fines, given unjust jail time sentencing, or given cruel or unusual forms of punishment.

Prison cell
The 8th Amendment protects people from cruel and unusual punishment if convicted of a crime.

The protection from cruel and unusual punishment was in response to the more gruesome methods of performing capital punishment by those convicted of a crime, both in the early Americas and throughout British history.

Ninth Amendment – The Enumeration of Certain Rights Shall not be Used Against Others

The Ninth Amendment guarantees that Americans are protected outside the first ten amendments. This is because it is impossible to go over every civil right and freedom to which citizens are entitled.

Tenth Amendment – Rights Reserved by States or People

Finally, the Tenth Amendment ensures that people and states are guaranteed any powers not expressly given to the federal government

Map of United States
The 10th Amendment ensures powers not expressly given to the federal government by the Constitution belong to the states or the people.

The 10th Amendment ensured that the federal government’s power never extended beyond the checks and balances put into place by the Constitution.

Why Was the Bill of Rights Created?

The Bill of Rights was first implemented largely due to the Articles of Confederation’s weakness and the proposed overall strength of the US Constitution. 

The Constitution was widely regarded as a superior structure compared to the Articles of Confederation. However, many feared a potential abuse of power granted to the federal government. Therefore it was advised that a Bill of Rights be included. 

This Bill of Rights was drafted by James Madison and currently sits as the benchmark for all civil rights and liberties given to free people.

Watch the following video to learn a great way to memorize the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution (or the Bill of Rights)

29 Responses

    1. With all due respect, I think most people have not read, studied the writings of our Founders, and have not studied our history to any great extent. It takes some effort, but there is a wealth of writings from the Founding Fathers that would make clear their intention behind the 27 words that is the 2nd amendment.

    2. Not misinterpreted, but not fully thought thru. They never expected folk to buy guns like toilet paper, and they didn’t account for the mentally ill to actually be able to get a permit to carry a gun. When they overturned what President Clinton put in place in 2010, to lift the ban on automatic weapons was the most asinine move all of the dummies could have done collectively.

      1. Automatic weapons have been restricted since the 1930s. I think you mean semi automatic rifles, such as vast majority of rifles sold. I don’t think you’ve “fully thought thru” your response. Also, the ban had no real affect on shootings. Most are done with pistols.

    3. Yes, it was created for citizens as the government did not want or could afford a “ standing army”. Hence, you protect yourself against invasions.
      We now have an army, still we continue to buy machine guns to protect ourselves?

      1. Machine guns (fully automatic) have been restricted since the 1930s. I think you mean semi automatic rifles, such as the vast majority of rifles sold.
        I think you would benefit from readying the Federalist Papers.

    4. Until the gun control act of 1934 and then 1967 there were no laws governing the ownership of guns. whether or not they were fully automatic or not, and yes you could get fully automatic guns and until 34 you were allowed to own them just as you can today except that today they tax them and regulate them out of most people’s reach. There were no limitations on mentally ill individuals owning guns, the families made sure to limit their ability to get them, by keeping anyone who was mentally unfit in a mental institution or keeping them away from them. Just like the there wasn’t any law against felon’s owning guns instead when caught and convicted of violent felony’s they either didn’t allow them out in public by keeping them locked up or hanging them. But once their sentence was completed they had their rights fully restored. When handling of guns was taught in schools there weren’t nearly as much gun violence, just like their weren’t as many gays and transgender until the schools started sexualizing children in first grade on. The founding fathers knew exactly what they were doing with the second amendment. There was never the intention of a standing military, they made no provision in the constitution for one. The people were intended to be the military if and when one was needed. Using your flawed logic the first amendment gives you the right to say anything you want to, since your not a reporter you don’t get the right to print anything without government approval since your not printing a paper. Yet it’s understood that you have the right to print whatever you want so long as your not personally harming anyone specific with it. Just as your rights don’t Trump mine neither do mine Trump your’s. Just like what works in the city won’t work in the country. And trying to apply one to the other is a disaster waiting to hurt someone through ignorance. while a magazine ban might be perfect for. New York City that will get people killed in Oklahoma, Idaho or Alaska. I know your not capable of comprehension on this subject since you wouldn’t last 10 days in Oklahoma where everything from alligators to poisonous snakes would take you out and a twenty round magazine is nessary when dealing with feral hogs that run in packs of 10 or more and will eat a human in a heartbeat. So don’t try deciding what’s best for everyone else stick with your city and leave everyone else alone.

  1. It makes sense that James Madison wrote the first 10 Amendments because as the person responsible to have the Constitution as clear to reflect the intentions of the Constitutional convention. But he also included the 9th Amendment that states there are many more rights that as they come up, are real and cannot be ignored.
    The Federation Articles were written during and after the Constitution was passed. Hamilton, Jay, and Madison. Hamilton proposed that George Washington be made king, butGeneral Washington said he had enough of a king and turned it down. Jay was also a federalist like Hamilton, but Madison was more like Jefferson. His concerns for the protection of the people was as strong, if not stronger for a strong United Government. And wanted to make sure States did not step on the toes of the people. Therefore, no laws could lessen the rights of the people. That is clear in the first 10 amendments to temper the Constitution to protect the rights of the people. And not let the state infringe on those rights. Therefore, I am surprised that conservatives are too frequently wanting to curb the rights of the people and favor State rights that have often taken those rights away from the people.
    When they do that, it makes the country into a series of tribes and not United.
    The last two rulings by the Supreme Court is behaving as it did when FDR was attempting to bring the country out of the Great Depression.
    We have to remember that the purpose of the Supreme Court is suppose to not be driven by politics. They turn down a 100 year old law in New York the control hidden guns in crowded places unless there was a good reason to have one. And when Madison was asked about the right too have guns for self protection, his response was that there is nowhere in the Constitution that guarantees a gun for self protection. It appears that in their historical check, they either missed that or ignored that.

  2. It is recorded in history from what I have found that Jame Madison responded to question that keeping a gun for self protection was not in the Constitution. And he was the own who made sure the first 10 Amendments were included in the final written Constitution. (And he is the one who is reported to have written those first 10 Amendments).
    Is that report correct that self protection by a gun was debated and and not included?

    1. Thomas Jefferson was greatly involved in the 10. Seeing a great need in them to not have king n queens, because Our Constitution was written by mainly elites types Who think about their gains

  3. We need new amendments such as:

    A mentally ill person, cannot run for president….(aka trump)
    supreme court judge’s should have limited terms.
    Accountability from politicians on spending our American taxes
    Politicians should have to take a test and have a degree in politics, before running for politics
    Any other ideas??????

    1. President Trump was certainly NOT mentally ill. He aced the test 30 of 30 that Biden refuses to take concerning his mental ability to be President. Just because you are prejudiced against President Trump as all people who call themselves democrats are. You can’t say you are better off with Trump out of office, nor can you say you are safer. Trump was a real leader and commander who stood up to our adversaries and kept this country safe. He also moved our US Embassy to Jerusalem, fulfilling the jubilee years in the Bible. Most people that hate Trump have a mob mentality and only hate him because the democrats all think they have too. Trump fulfilled every promise he made to the American people. Trump was the one who pushed for the COVID vaccine and was instrumental in getting it developed so quickly. Employment was good, gas prices were good, our country was much safer, China was paying their fair share of tariffs, he had a better relationship with North Korea than any President. He tried to bring law and order to the cities that were being looted and destroyed by mob democratic rule but was stopped from doing so by democratic politicians who did not want law and order and did not want people arrested and those that were to be released without bail. Democrats want a socialist country and a communistic or dictatorship country just like Venezuela which was once prosperous but now is a country of destruction that everyone is trying to flee. Yes, all you Trump haters that hate and don’t know why would be very happy in a Socialist country. Why not get out of this country that has prospered for over 200 plus years with a constitution that has been an example for other countries. If you think Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, AOC, and the rest of the squad care about you then I have a bridge to sell you.


      1. Whatever ! Trump thinks he can do or say anything he wants without any consequences. He wants to be King. People like you will be the downfall of our country. I cant stand Biden…but dictator trump is worse. Hopefully he will choke on his next big mac !

        1. TOTALLY agree with this statement. I also do not like Biden but Trump is mentally ill, and an egotistical tyrant who lies every time his lips move

        2. Truth really irks you, doesn’t it? Trump was about as far from a dictator as you can get — you are believing all the lies the Socialist Left was spewing.

      2. Yes, I am better off…period!
        And the reason we are not safer is because his followers choose violence to subvert our govt and the voting process.

      3. Loved your comment in defense of President Trump. You laid a list of His accomplishments and there is much more. If you notice when the Haters make a comment it’s just short and nasty because they don’t have anything to good to say about this current administration. It’s disgusting how uninformed these people are. You can see that they’re stuck on CNN and MSNB .They probably still don’t know about Hunter’s laptop. And oh yeah it’s the real deal.

      4. You are so right Trump was a true leader and was bringing our country back to order to stand united while with Biden in office he is being used as a puppet and is the one who is mentally ill and suffering from alztimers I mean really half the time Biden doesn’t know weather he’s coming or going and since he presidency we have Fallen into a country of hate and violence as stated stand together as united we will prosper but to stand apart we will fall

      5. you know, I was gonna say something about their comment too, but you seemed to beat me, but yes, Trump is not mentally ill and there should not be an amendment such as “no mentally ill people” because that would make many mentally ill people trying to get better so they can do big things like run for president give up and just not try, so that comment was fairly offencive. any I understand what you said about Trump and fully agree too!

    2. no degree needed, thus NO DESPOTs … And those against the first 10 Are Traitors and must be arrested and banned from any office. they are the would be kings n queens. Trump did not even take the Presidential pay but the demonicratnaziblmarxistrinos take All and Want us all to be silenced serfs.

  4. There seems to be indications for a wave of amendments: such as
    1. Eliminating electoral college to make clear people choose the president. Thanks to attempted coup Jan.6,2021
    2.Equal rights
    3. Supreme Court reform
    4. Voting
    5. Congressional Succession

    1. I believe the amendments should be rewritten. Was that written when slavery was in effect. So were the amendments for those that were enslaved or those that were slave owners.

    2. That is the most radical thing ever talked up. Reform the SCOTUS? End the Electoral Process?

      Do you even realize what you’re advocating for? You’re essentially wanting America to go back to the way it was, Pre-1776, that’s Extreme and an existential threat to our Republic. You want Bureaucrats and Elites to make our decisions, not We The People, which if you forgot, is the way our Founders designed America to be.

      We need The Electoral, Constitutional Process. We also do not need to pack the SCOTUS with Radical Leftist Judges who will threaten our Republic and take away our Rights/Liberties.

      Seems you need to be slapped upside the head with a Constitution and a Declaration of Independence to see the Words, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Then you will understand, our Rights are God Given and Our Government is Established by We The People.

      You must really hate America and it’s sad.

      1. Well, technically…the Constitution was not written “by the people”, rather the elites. There is no mention of “the people” voting on the initial amendments.

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