The Principle of the Matter and Common Law

Thumbs up or Thumbs down this as you so desire.
But is the principle of the matter not worth fighting for? Or do we accept that we should not stand for the principle of the matter or are we grounded in common law?
Is it not the right of the people to establish these principles and exercise them or do we accept our ideas be taken offline and that our rights do not matter?
If we ignore our rights, they will go away. However there is the People’s Court and I do believe RchainCommunity.xyz and other mediums do create the People’s Court, as these rights are grounded in Common Law.
I do not know how anybody can argue that we as people do not have rights, I mean they have that right to argue that, as that is free speech, but it is also freedom of choice that allows us to accept defeat or rise to uphold our rights, as the court is not for the privileged few but rather it is for the people and it there we can uphold Common Law or get trampled under foot.
I do believe that it is necessary to uphold the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as they are universal and they go across boundaries, jurisdictions, or corporate law, however if you agree to give your rights away, you deserve not to exercise your rights, and with that you do not get due process.
And this is how equality before the law sways away from the people, as seen time and time again.
I just ramble on that these principles are a good place to establish foundation, and I wonder how people can argue this point. I mean they can argue the point, but words have meaning. We could speak a dead language, like Latin, and we that would render those words not subject to interpretation. But “words” and “rights” should not be that difficult, but I guess you have to stand by those words, the principle of the matter, and continually fight for those “rights”.
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta)
****Magna Carta Libertatum**** ([Medieval Latin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Latin) for “the Great Charter of the Liberties”), commonly called ***Magna Carta*** (also *Magna Charta* ; “Great Charter”),[[a]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-4) is a [charter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter) agreed to by [King John of England](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John,_King_of_England) at [Runnymede](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runnymede), near [Windsor](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor,_Berkshire), on 15 June 1215.[[b]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-5) First drafted by the [Archbishop of Canterbury](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Langton) to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel [barons](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron), it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on [feudal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudalism) payments to [the Crown](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crown), to be implemented through a council of 25 barons. Neither side stood behind their commitments, and the charter was annulled by [Pope Innocent III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Innocent_III), leading to the [First Barons’ War](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barons%27_War). After John’s death, the regency government of his young son, [Henry III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_III_of_England), reissued the document in 1216, stripped of some of its more radical content, in an unsuccessful bid to build political support for their cause. At the end of the war in 1217, it formed part of the peace [treaty agreed at Lambeth](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Lambeth), where the document acquired the name Magna Carta, to distinguish it from the smaller [Charter of the Forest](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_Forest) which was issued at the same time. Short of funds, Henry reissued the charter again in 1225 in exchange for a grant of new taxes. His son, [Edward I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_I_of_England), repeated the exercise in 1297, this time confirming it as part of England’s [statute law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_law).

The charter became part of English political life and was typically renewed by each monarch in turn, although as time went by and the fledgling [English Parliament](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_England) passed new laws, it lost some of its practical significance. At the end of the 16th century there was an upsurge in interest in Magna Carta. Lawyers and historians at the time believed that there was an ancient English constitution, going back to the days of the [Anglo-Saxons](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxons), that protected individual English freedoms. They argued that the [Norman invasion of 1066](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_conquest_of_England) had overthrown these rights, and that Magna Carta had been a popular attempt to restore them, making the charter an essential foundation for the contemporary powers of Parliament and legal principles such as *[habeas corpus](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus)* . Although this historical account was badly flawed, jurists such as Sir [Edward Coke](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Coke) used Magna Carta extensively in the early 17th century, arguing against the [divine right of kings](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_right_of_kings) propounded by the [Stuart](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Stuart) monarchs. Both [James I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_VI_and_I) and his son [Charles I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_of_England) attempted to suppress the discussion of Magna Carta, until the issue was curtailed by the [English Civil War](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War) of the 1640s and the execution of Charles.

The political myth of Magna Carta and its protection of ancient personal liberties persisted after the [Glorious Revolution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Revolution) of 1688 until well into the 19th century. It influenced the early American colonists in the [Thirteen Colonies](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteen_Colonies) and the formation of the [American Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution) in 1787, which became the supreme law of the land in the new republic of the United States.[[c]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-6) Research by [Victorian](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_era) historians showed that the original 1215 charter had concerned the medieval relationship between the monarch and the barons, rather than the rights of ordinary people, but the charter remained a powerful, iconic document, even after almost all of its content was repealed from the statute books in the 19th and 20th centuries. Magna Carta still forms an important symbol of liberty today, often cited by politicians and campaigners, and is held in great respect by the British and American legal communities, [Lord Denning](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Denning,_Baron_Denning) describing it as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot”.[[4]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004268-7)

In the 21st century, four [exemplifications](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exemplified_copy) of the original 1215 charter remain in existence, two at the [British Library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Library), one at [Lincoln Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Cathedral) and one at [Salisbury Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salisbury_Cathedral). There are also a handful of the subsequent charters in public and private ownership, including copies of the 1297 charter in both the United States and Australia. The original charters were written on [parchment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parchment) sheets using [quill](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quill) pens, in [heavily abbreviated](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scribal_abbreviation) [medieval Latin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Latin), which was the convention for legal documents at that time. Each was sealed with the royal [great seal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Seal_of_the_Realm) (made of [beeswax](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeswax) and [resin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin) [sealing wax](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealing_wax)): very few of the seals have survived. Although scholars refer to the 63 numbered “clauses” of Magna Carta, this is a modern system of numbering, introduced by Sir [William Blackstone](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blackstone) in 1759; the original charter formed a single, long unbroken text. The four original 1215 charters were displayed together at the British Library for one day, 3 February 2015, to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

## Contents

* [1 History](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#History)
* [1.1 13th century](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#13th_century)
* [1.1.1 Background](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Background)
* [1.1.2 Great Charter of 1215](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Great_Charter_of_1215)
* [1.1.2.1 Lists of participants in 1215](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Lists_of_participants_in_1215)
* [1.1.3 Great Charter of 1216](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Great_Charter_of_1216)
* [1.1.4 Great Charter of 1217](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Great_Charter_of_1217)
* [1.1.5 Great Charter of 1225](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Great_Charter_of_1225)
* [1.1.5.1 Witnesses in 1225](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Witnesses_in_1225)
* [1.1.6 Great Charter of 1297: statute](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Great_Charter_of_1297:_statute)
* [1.1.7 Magna Carta’s influence on English medieval law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Magna_Carta’s_influence_on_English_medieval_law)
* [1.2 14th–15th centuries](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#14th–15th_centuries)
* [1.3 16th century](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#16th_century)
* [1.4 17th–18th centuries](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#17th–18th_centuries)
* [1.4.1 Political tensions](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Political_tensions)
* [1.4.2 Glorious Revolution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Glorious_Revolution)
* [1.4.3 Use in the Thirteen Colonies and the United States](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Use_in_the_Thirteen_Colonies_and_the_United_States)
* [1.5 19th–21st centuries](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#19th–21st_centuries)
* [1.5.1 Interpretation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Interpretation)
* [1.5.2 Repeal of articles and constitutional influence](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Repeal_of_articles_and_constitutional_influence)
* [1.5.3 Modern legacy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Modern_legacy)
* [1.5.4 Celebration of the 800th anniversary](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Celebration_of_the_800th_anniversary)
* [2 Content](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Content)
* [2.1 Physical format](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Physical_format)
* [2.2 Exemplifications](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Exemplifications)
* [2.2.1 1215 exemplifications](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#1215_exemplifications)
* [2.2.2 Later exemplifications](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Later_exemplifications)
* [2.3 Clauses](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Clauses)
* [2.3.1 Clauses in detail](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Clauses_in_detail)
* [2.3.2 Clauses remaining in English law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Clauses_remaining_in_English_law)
* [3 See also](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#See_also)
* [4 Notes](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Notes)
* [5 References](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#References)
* [6 Bibliography](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Bibliography)
* [7 Further reading](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#Further_reading)
* [8 External links](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#External_links)

## History

### 13th century

#### Background

Main article: [John, King of England](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John,_King_of_England)

[![An illuminated picture of King John riding a white horse and accompanied by four hounds. The King is chasing a stag, and several rabbits can be seen at the bottom of the picture.|220×182](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/King_John_from_De_Rege_Johanne.jpg/220px-King_John_from_De_Rege_Johanne.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:King_John_from_De_Rege_Johanne.jpg)

King [John](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John,_King_of_England) on a [stag hunt](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deer_hunting)

Magna Carta originated as an unsuccessful attempt to achieve peace between royalist and rebel factions in 1215, as part of the events leading to the outbreak of the [First Barons’ War](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barons%27_War). England was ruled by King [John](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John,_King_of_England), the third of the [Angevin kings](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angevin_kings_of_England). Although the kingdom had a robust administrative system, the nature of government under the Angevin monarchs was ill-defined and uncertain.[[5]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter19908-8)[[6]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009149-9) John and his predecessors had ruled using the principle of *vis et voluntas* , or “force and will”, taking executive and sometimes arbitrary decisions, often justified on the basis that a king was above the law.[[6]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009149-9) Many contemporary writers believed that monarchs should rule in accordance with the custom and the law, with the counsel of the leading members of the realm, but there was no model for what should happen if a king refused to do so.[[6]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009149-9)

John had lost most of his ancestral lands in France to King [Philip II](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_France) in 1204 and had struggled to regain them for many years, raising extensive taxes on the barons to accumulate money to fight a war which ended in expensive failure in 1214.[[7]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter19907-10) Following the defeat of his allies at the [Battle of Bouvines](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bouvines), John had to sue for peace and pay compensation.[[8]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004168-11) John was already personally unpopular with many of the barons, many of whom owed money to the Crown, and little trust existed between the two sides.[[9]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009139-12)[[10]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990181-13)[[11]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter19906–7-14) A triumph would have strengthened his position, but in the face of his defeat, within a few months after his return from France John found that rebel barons in the north and east of England were organising resistance to his rule.[[12]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter19909-15)[[13]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009174-16)

The rebels took an oath that they would “stand fast for the liberty of the church and the realm”, and demanded that the King confirm the [Charter of Liberties](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_Liberties) that had been declared by King [Henry I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_I_of_England) in the previous century, and which was perceived by the barons to protect their rights.[[14]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004256–58-17)[[13]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009174-16)[[15]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013131–32-18) The rebel leadership was unimpressive by the standards of the time, even disreputable, but were united by their hatred of John;[[16]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013130-19) [Robert FitzWalter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_FitzWalter), later elected leader of the rebel barons, claimed publicly that John had attempted to rape his daughter,[[17]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004104-20) and was implicated in a plot to assassinate John in 1212.[[18]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004165-21)

[![|220×277](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/05/Innozenz3.jpg/220px-Innozenz3.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Innozenz3.jpg)

A contemporaneous mural of [Pope Innocent III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Innocent_III)

John held a council in London in January 1215 to discuss potential reforms, and sponsored discussions in [Oxford](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford) between his agents and the rebels during the spring.[[19]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009178-22) Both sides appealed to [Pope Innocent III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Innocent_III) for assistance in the dispute.[[20]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013132-23) During the negotiations, the rebellious barons produced an initial document, which historians have termed “the Unknown Charter of Liberties”, which drew on Henry I’s Charter of Liberties for much of its language; seven articles from that document later appeared in the “Articles of the Barons” and the subsequent charter.[[21]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt1992a115-24)[[22]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPoole1993471–72-25)[[23]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEVincent201259–60-26)

It was John’s hope that the Pope would give him valuable legal and moral support, and accordingly John played for time; the King had declared himself to be a papal vassal in 1213 and correctly believed he could count on the Pope for help.[[24]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009179-27)[[20]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013132-23) John also began recruiting mercenary forces from France, although some were later sent back to avoid giving the impression that the King was escalating the conflict.[[19]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009178-22) In a further move to shore up his support, John took an oath to become a [crusader](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades), a move which gave him additional political protection under church law, even though many felt the promise was insincere.[[25]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990233-28)[[26]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004258–59-29)

Letters backing John arrived from the Pope in April, but by then the rebel barons had organised into a military faction. They congregated at [Northampton](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northampton) in May and renounced their feudal ties to John, marching on [London](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London), [Lincoln](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln,_England), and [Exeter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exeter).[[27]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009174,_179–80-30) John’s efforts to appear moderate and conciliatory had been largely successful, but once the rebels held London, they attracted a fresh wave of defectors from the royalists.[[28]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009180-31) The King offered to submit the problem to a committee of arbitration with the Pope as the supreme arbiter, but this was not attractive to the rebels.[[29]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt1992a112-32) [Stephen Langton](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Langton), the [Archbishop of Canterbury](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archbishop_of_Canterbury), had been working with the rebel barons on their demands, and after the suggestion of papal arbitration failed, John instructed Langton to organise peace talks.[[28]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009180-31)[[30]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013137-33)

#### Great Charter of 1215

[![|170×320](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cd/Article-barons-add-ms-4838.jpg/170px-Article-barons-add-ms-4838.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Article-barons-add-ms-4838.jpg)

The Articles of the Barons, 1215, held by the [British Library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Library)

John met the rebel leaders at [Runnymede](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runnymede), a [water-meadow](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water-meadow) on the south bank of the [River Thames](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Thames), on 10 June 1215. Runnymede was a traditional place for assemblies, but it was also located on neutral ground between the royal fortress of [Windsor Castle](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windsor_Castle) and the rebel base at [Staines](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staines-upon-Thames), and offered both sides the security of a rendezvous where they were unlikely to find themselves at a military disadvantage.[[31]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETatton-Brown201536-34)[[32]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt2015219-35) Here the rebels presented John with their draft demands for reform, the ‘Articles of the Barons’.[[28]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009180-31)[[30]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013137-33)[[33]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990236-36) Stephen Langton’s pragmatic efforts at mediation over the next ten days turned these incomplete demands into a charter capturing the proposed peace agreement; a few years later, this agreement was renamed Magna Carta, meaning “Great Charter”.[[34]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009180,_182-37)[[30]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013137-33)[[33]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990236-36) By 15 June, general agreement had been made on a text, and on 19 June, the rebels renewed their oaths of loyalty to John and copies of the charter were formally issued.[[33]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990236-36)[[30]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013137-33)

Although, as the historian [David Carpenter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Carpenter_(historian)) has noted, the charter “wasted no time on political theory”, it went beyond simply addressing individual baronial complaints, and formed a wider proposal for political reform.[[28]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009180-31)[[35]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009182-38) It promised the protection of church rights, protection from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and, most importantly, limitations on taxation and other feudal payments to the Crown, with certain forms of feudal taxation requiring baronial consent.[[36]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009184–85-39)[[12]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter19909-15) It focused on the rights of free men—in particular the barons.[[35]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009182-38) However, the rights of serfs were included in articles 16, 20, and 28.[[37]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-40)[[d]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-43) Its style and content reflected Henry I’s Charter of Liberties, as well as a wider body of legal traditions, including the royal charters issued to towns, the operations of the Church and baronial courts and European charters such as the Statute of Pamiers.[[40]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEVincent201261–63-44)[[41]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter2004293–94-45)

Under what historians later labelled “clause 61”, or the “security clause”, a council of 25 barons would be created to monitor and ensure John’s future adherence to the charter.[[42]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009189-46) If John did not conform to the charter within 40 days of being notified of a transgression by the council, the 25 barons were empowered by clause 61 to seize John’s castles and lands until, in their judgement, amends had been made.[[43]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004261–62-47) Men were to be compelled to swear an oath to assist the council in controlling the King, but once redress had been made for any breaches, the King would continue to rule as before. In one sense this was not unprecedented; other kings had previously conceded the right of individual resistance to their subjects if the King did not uphold his obligations. Magna Carta was however novel in that it set up a formally recognised means of collectively coercing the King.[[44]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEGoodman1995260–61-48) The historian [Wilfred Warren](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._L._Warren) argues that it was almost inevitable that the clause would result in civil war, as it “was crude in its methods and disturbing in its implications”.[[45]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990239–40-49) The barons were trying to force John to keep to the charter, but clause 61 was so heavily weighted against the King that this version of the charter could not survive.[[43]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004261–62-47)

John and the rebel barons did not trust each other, and neither side seriously attempted to implement the peace accord.[[42]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009189-46)[[46]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPoole1993479-50) The 25 barons selected for the new council were all rebels, chosen by the more extremist barons, and many among the rebels found excuses to keep their forces mobilised.[[47]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009189–91-51)[[48]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004262-52)[[49]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990239,_242-53) Disputes began to emerge between those rebels who had expected the charter to return lands that had been confiscated and the royalist faction.[[50]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199012-54)

Clause 61 of Magna Carta contained a commitment from John that he would “seek to obtain nothing from anyone, in our own person or through someone else, whereby any of these grants or liberties may be revoked or diminished”.[[51]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199613-55)[[52]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-All_clauses-56) Despite this, the King appealed to Pope Innocent for help in July, arguing that the charter compromised the Pope’s rights as John’s feudal lord.[[53]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009190–91-57)[[50]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199012-54) As part of the June peace deal, the barons were supposed to surrender London by 15 August, but this they refused to do.[[54]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009190-58) Meanwhile, instructions from the Pope arrived in August, written before the peace accord, with the result that papal commissioners excommunicated the rebel barons and suspended Langton from office in early September.[[55]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990244–45-59) Once aware of the charter, the Pope responded in detail: in a letter dated 24 August and arriving in late September, he declared the charter to be “not only shameful and demeaning but also illegal and unjust” since John had been “forced to accept” it, and accordingly the charter was “null, and void of all validity for ever”; under threat of excommunication, the King was not to observe the charter, nor the barons try to enforce it.[[56]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTERothwell1975324–26-60)[[50]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199012-54)[[57]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990245–46-61)[[54]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009190-58)

By then, violence had broken out between the two sides; less than three months after it had been agreed, John and the loyalist barons firmly repudiated the failed charter: the First Barons’ War erupted.[[58]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt1992a1-62)[[59]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECrouch1996114-63)[[50]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199012-54) The rebel barons concluded that peace with John was impossible, and turned to Philip II’s son, the future [Louis VIII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_VIII_of_France), for help, offering him the English throne.[[60]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter2004264–67-64)[[50]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199012-54)[[e]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-65) The war soon settled into a stalemate. The King became ill and died on the night of 18 October 1216, leaving the nine-year-old [Henry III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_III_of_England) as his heir.[[61]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-66)

##### Lists of participants in 1215

Counsellors named in Magna Carta

The Council of Twenty-Five Barons

Excommunicated rebels

#### Great Charter of 1216

Although the Charter of 1215 was a failure as a peace treaty, it was resurrected under the new government of the young Henry III as a way of drawing support away from the rebel faction. On his deathbed, King John appointed a council of thirteen executors to help Henry reclaim the kingdom, and requested that his son be placed into the guardianship of [William Marshal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Marshal,_1st_Earl_of_Pembroke), one of the most famous knights in England.[[68]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199014–15-74) William knighted the boy, and Cardinal [Guala Bicchieri](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guala_Bicchieri), the [papal legate](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_legate) to England, then oversaw his coronation at [Gloucester Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloucester_Cathedral) on 28 October.[[69]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199013-75)[[70]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013189-76)[[71]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTERidgeway2004-77)

The young King inherited a difficult situation, with over half of England occupied by the rebels.[[72]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWeiler20121-78)[[73]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter19901-79) He had substantial support though from Guala, who intended to win the civil war for Henry and punish the rebels.[[74]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMayr-Harting2011259–60-80) Guala set about strengthening the ties between England and the Papacy, starting with the coronation itself, during which Henry gave [homage](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homage_(feudal)) to the Papacy, recognising the Pope as his feudal lord.[[75]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMayr-Harting2011260-81)[[69]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199013-75) [Pope Honorius III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Honorius_III) declared that Henry was the Pope’s [vassal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vassal) and [ward](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_(law)), and that the legate had complete authority to protect Henry and his kingdom.[[69]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199013-75) As an additional measure, Henry took the cross, declaring himself a crusader and thereby entitled to special protection from Rome.[[69]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199013-75)

The war was not going well for the loyalists, but Prince Louis and the rebel barons were also finding it difficult to make further progress.[[76]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter2004301-82)[[77]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199019–21-83) John’s death had defused some of the rebel concerns, and the royal castles were still holding out in the occupied parts of the country.[[78]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEAurell200330-84)[[77]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199019–21-83) Henry’s government encouraged the rebel barons to come back to his cause in exchange for the return of their lands, and reissued a version of the 1215 Charter, albeit having first removed some of the clauses, including those unfavourable to the Papacy and clause 61, which had set up the council of barons.[[79]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199021–22,_24–25-85)[[80]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPowicke19635-86) The move was not successful, and opposition to Henry’s new government hardened.[[81]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199025-87)

#### Great Charter of 1217

See also: [First Barons’ War](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barons%27_War), [Charter of the Forest](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_Forest), and [English land law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_land_law)

[![|170×220](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/84/Forest-charter-1225-C13550-78.jpg/170px-Forest-charter-1225-C13550-78.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Forest-charter-1225-C13550-78.jpg)

The Charter of the Forest, 1217, held by the British Library

In February 1217, Louis set sail for France to gather reinforcements.[[82]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199027-88) In his absence, arguments broke out between Louis’ French and English followers, and Cardinal Guala declared that Henry’s war against the rebels was the equivalent of a religious crusade.[[83]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199028–29-89) This declaration resulted in a series of defections from the rebel movement, and the tide of the conflict swung in Henry’s favour.[[84]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990127–28-90) Louis returned at the end of April, but his northern forces were defeated by William Marshal at the [Battle of Lincoln](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lincoln_(1217)) in May.[[85]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199036–40-91)[[86]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMcGlynn2013216-92)

Meanwhile, support for Louis’ campaign was diminishing in France, and he concluded that the war in England was lost.[[87]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHallamEverard2001173-93) He negotiated terms with Cardinal Guala, under which Louis would renounce his claim to the English throne; in return, his followers would be given back their lands, any sentences of [excommunication](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excommunication) would be lifted, and Henry’s government would promise to enforce the charter of the previous year.[[88]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199041–42-94) The proposed agreement soon began to unravel amid claims from some loyalists that it was too generous towards the rebels, particularly the clergy who had joined the rebellion.[[89]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199042-95)

In the absence of a settlement, Louis remained in London with his remaining forces, hoping for the arrival of reinforcements from France.[[89]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199042-95) When the expected fleet did arrive in August, it was intercepted and defeated by loyalists at the [Battle of Sandwich](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sandwich_(1217)).[[90]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199044-96) Louis entered into fresh peace negotiations, and the factions came to agreement on the final [Treaty of Lambeth](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Lambeth), also known as the Treaty of Kingston, on 12 and 13 September 1217.[[90]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199044-96) The treaty was similar to the first peace offer, but excluded the rebel clergy, whose lands and appointments remained forfeit; it included a promise, however, that Louis’ followers would be allowed to enjoy their traditional liberties and customs, referring back to the Charter of 1216.[[91]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199041,_44–45-97) Louis left England as agreed and joined the [Albigensian Crusade](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade) in the south of France, bringing the war to an end.[[87]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHallamEverard2001173-93)

A [great council](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnum_Concilium) was called in October and November to take stock of the post-war situation; this council is thought to have formulated and issued the Charter of 1217.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199060-98) The charter resembled that of 1216, although some additional clauses were added to protect the rights of the barons over their feudal subjects, and the restrictions on the Crown’s ability to levy taxation were watered down.[[93]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199060–61-99) There remained a range of disagreements about the management of the royal forests, which involved a special legal system that had resulted in a source of considerable royal revenue; complaints existed over both the implementation of these courts, and the geographic boundaries of the royal forests.[[94]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199061–62-100) A complementary charter, the [Charter of the Forest](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_Forest), was created, pardoning existing forest offences, imposing new controls over the forest courts, and establishing a review of the forest boundaries.[[94]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199061–62-100) To distinguish the two charters, the term *magna carta libertatum* , “the great charter of liberties”, was used by the scribes to refer to the larger document, which in time became known simply as Magna Carta.[[95]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWhite1915472–75-101)[[96]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWhite1917545–55-102)

#### Great Charter of 1225

[![|170×341](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f1/Magna_Carta_%281225_version_with_seal%29.jpg/170px-Magna_Carta_%281225_version_with_seal%29.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna_Carta_(1225_version_with_seal).jpg)

The 1225 version of Magna Carta issued by [Henry III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_III_of_England), held in the [National Archives](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_National_Archives_(United_Kingdom))

Magna Carta became increasingly embedded into English political life during Henry III’s [minority](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_(law)).[[97]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990402-103) As the King grew older, his government slowly began to recover from the civil war, regaining control of the counties and beginning to raise revenue once again, taking care not to overstep the terms of the charters.[[98]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990333–35,_382–83-104) Henry remained a minor and his government’s legal ability to make permanently binding decisions on his behalf was limited. In 1223, the tensions over the status of the charters became clear in the [royal court](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_(royal)), when Henry’s government attempted to reassert its rights over its properties and revenues in the counties, facing resistance from many communities that argued—if sometimes incorrectly—that the charters protected the new arrangements.[[99]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990295–96-105)[[100]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEJobson20126-106) This resistance resulted in an argument between Archbishop Langton and [William Brewer](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Brewer_(justice)) over whether the King had any duty to fulfil the terms of the charters, given that he had been forced to agree to them.[[101]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990296–97-107) On this occasion, Henry gave oral assurances that he considered himself bound by the charters, enabling a royal inquiry into the situation in the counties to progress.[[102]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990297-108)

Two years later, the question of Henry’s commitment to the charters re-emerged, when Louis VIII of France invaded Henry’s remaining provinces in France, [Poitou](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poitou) and [Gascony](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gascony).[[103]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHallamEverard2001176-109)[[104]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWeiler201220-110) Henry’s army in Poitou was under-resourced, and the province quickly fell.[[105]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990371–73-111) It became clear that Gascony would also fall unless reinforcements were sent from England.[[106]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990374–75-112) In early 1225, a great council approved a tax of £40,000 to dispatch an army, which quickly retook Gascony.[[107]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990376,_378-113)[[108]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHallamEverard2001176–77-114) In exchange for agreeing to support Henry, the barons demanded that the King reissue Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest.[[109]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990379-115)[[110]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter2004307-116) The content was almost identical to the 1217 versions, but in the new versions, the King declared that the charters were issued of his own “spontaneous and free will” and confirmed them with the royal seal, giving the new Great Charter and the Charter of the Forest of 1225 much more authority than the previous versions.[[111]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1990383-117)[[110]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter2004307-116)

The barons anticipated that the King would act in accordance with these charters, subject to the law and moderated by the advice of the nobility.[[112]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-118)[[113]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-119) Uncertainty continued, and in 1227, when he was declared of age and able to rule independently, Henry announced that future charters had to be issued under his own seal.[[114]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEClanchy1997147-120)[[115]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDavis201371-121) This brought into question the validity of the previous charters issued during his minority, and Henry actively threatened to overturn the Charter of the Forest unless the taxes promised in return for it were actually paid.[[114]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEClanchy1997147-120)[[115]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDavis201371-121) In 1253, Henry confirmed the charters once again in exchange for taxation.[[116]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDavis2013174-122)

Henry placed a symbolic emphasis on rebuilding royal authority, but his rule was relatively circumscribed by Magna Carta.[[117]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199676,_99-123)[[71]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTERidgeway2004-77) He generally acted within the terms of the charters, which prevented the Crown from taking extrajudicial action against the barons, including the fines and expropriations that had been common under his father, John.[[117]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199676,_99-123)[[71]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTERidgeway2004-77) The charters did not address the sensitive issues of the appointment of royal advisers and the distribution of patronage, and they lacked any means of enforcement if the King chose to ignore them.[[118]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter19903-124) The inconsistency with which he applied the charters over the course of his rule alienated many barons, even those within his own faction.[[71]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTERidgeway2004-77)

Despite the various charters, the provision of royal justice was inconsistent and driven by the needs of immediate politics: sometimes action would be taken to address a legitimate baronial complaint, while on other occasions the problem would simply be ignored.[[119]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter199626,_29,_37,_43-125) The royal courts, which toured the country to provide justice at the local level, typically for lesser barons and the gentry claiming grievances against major lords, had little power, allowing the major barons to dominate the local justice system.[[120]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1996105-126) Henry’s rule became lax and careless, resulting in a reduction in royal authority in the provinces and, ultimately, the collapse of his authority at court.[[120]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECarpenter1996105-126)[[71]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTERidgeway2004-77)

In 1258, a group of barons seized power from Henry in a *[coup d’état](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coup_d%27%C3%A9tat)* , citing the need to strictly enforce Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest, creating a new baronial-led government to advance reform through the [Provisions of Oxford](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provisions_of_Oxford).[[121]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDavis2013195–97-127) The barons were not militarily powerful enough to win a decisive victory, and instead appealed to [Louis IX of France](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_IX_of_France) in 1263–1264 to arbitrate on their proposed reforms. The reformist barons argued their case based on Magna Carta, suggesting that it was inviolable under English law and that the King had broken its terms.[[122]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEJobson2012104-128)

Louis came down firmly in favour of Henry, but the French arbitration failed to achieve peace as the rebellious barons refused to accept the verdict. England slipped back into the [Second Barons’ War](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Barons%27_War), which was won by Henry’s son, [Prince Edward](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_I_of_England). Edward also invoked Magna Carta in advancing his cause, arguing that the reformers had taken matters too far and were themselves acting against Magna Carta.[[123]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDavis2013224-129) In a conciliatory gesture after the barons had been defeated, in 1267 Henry issued the [Statute of Marlborough](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Marlborough), which included a fresh commitment to observe the terms of Magna Carta.[[124]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEJobson2012163-130)

##### Witnesses in 1225

Witnesses to the 1225 charter

#### Great Charter of 1297: statute

[![|170×320](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Magna_Carta_%281297_version_with_seal%2C_owned_by_David_M_Rubenstein%29.png/170px-Magna_Carta_%281297_version_with_seal%2C_owned_by_David_M_Rubenstein%29.png)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna_Carta_(1297_version_with_seal,_owned_by_David_M_Rubenstein).png)

1297 version of the Great Charter, on display in the [National Archives Building](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Archives_Building) in [Washington, D.C.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.)

King [Edward I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_I_of_England) reissued the Charters of 1225 in 1297 in return for a new tax.[[126]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPrestwich1997427-132) It is this version which remains in [statute](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute) today, although with most articles now repealed.[[127]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-natarch-133)[[128]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-134)

The *Confirmatio Cartarum* (Confirmation of Charters) was issued in [Norman French](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_language) by Edward I in 1297.[[129]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEEdwards1943-135) Edward, needing money, had taxed the nobility, and they had armed themselves against him, forcing Edward to issue his confirmation of Magna Carta and the Forest Charter to avoid civil war.[[130]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-EB-136) The nobles had sought to add another document, the *De Tallagio* , to Magna Carta. Edward I’s government was not prepared to concede this, they agreed to the issuing of the *Confirmatio* , confirming the previous charters and confirming the principle that taxation should be by consent,[[126]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPrestwich1997427-132) although the precise manner of that consent was not laid down.[[131]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPrestwich1997434-137)

A passage mandates that copies shall be distributed in “cathedral churches throughout our realm, there to remain, and shall be read before the people two times by the year”,[[132]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTECobbettHowellHowellJardine1810980-138) hence the permanent installation of a copy in [Salisbury Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salisbury_Cathedral).[[133]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-139) In the Confirmation’s second article, it is confirmed that

> if any judgement be given from henceforth contrary to the points of the charters aforesaid by the justices, or by any other our ministers that hold plea before them against the points of the charters, it shall be undone, and holden for nought.[[134]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-140)[[135]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-141)

With the reconfirmation of the Charters in 1300, an additional document was granted, the *Articuli super Cartas* (The Articles upon the Charters).[[136]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt200862-142) It was composed of 17 articles and sought in part to deal with the problem of enforcing the Charters. Magna Carta and the Forest Charter were to be issued to the [sheriff](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheriff) of each county, and should be read four times a year at the meetings of the county courts. Each county should have a committee of three men who could hear complaints about violations of the Charters.[[137]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEFritzeRobison200234–35-143)

[Pope Clement V](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Clement_V) continued the papal policy of supporting monarchs (who ruled by divine grace) against any claims in Magna Carta which challenged the King’s rights, and annulled the *Confirmatio Cartarum* in 1305. Edward I interpreted Clement V’s [papal bull](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_bull) annulling the *Confirmatio Cartarum* as effectively applying to the *Articuli super Cartas* , although the latter was not specifically mentioned.[[138]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPrestwich1997547–48-144) In 1306 Edward I took the opportunity given by the Pope’s backing to reassert forest law over large areas which had been “disafforested”. Both Edward and the Pope were accused by some contemporary chroniclers of “perjury”, and it was suggested by Robert McNair Scott that [Robert the Bruce](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_the_Bruce) refused to make peace with Edward I’s son, [Edward II](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_II_of_England), in 1312 with the justification: “How shall the king of England keep faith with me, since he does not observe the sworn promises made to his liege men…”[[139]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMenache2003253–55-145)[[140]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEScott2014-146)

#### Magna Carta’s influence on English medieval law

The Great Charter was referred to in legal cases throughout the medieval period. For example, in 1226, the knights of [Lincolnshire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincolnshire) argued that their local sheriff was changing customary practice regarding the local courts, “contrary to their liberty which they ought to have by the charter of the lord king”.[[141]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt200844–45-147) In practice, cases were not brought against the King for breach of Magna Carta and the Forest Charter, but it was possible to bring a case against the King’s officers, such as his sheriffs, using the argument that the King’s officers were acting contrary to liberties granted by the King in the charters.[[142]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt200845–46-148)

In addition, medieval cases referred to the clauses in Magna Carta which dealt with specific issues such as wardship and dower, debt collection, and keeping rivers free for navigation.[[143]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt200856-149) Even in the 13th century, some clauses of Magna Carta rarely appeared in legal cases, either because the issues concerned were no longer relevant, or because Magna Carta had been superseded by more relevant legislation. By 1350 half the clauses of Magna Carta were no longer actively used.[[144]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt200856–57-150)

### 14th–15th centuries

[![|170×252](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c0/Magna_charta_cum_statutis_angliae_p1.jpg/170px-Magna_charta_cum_statutis_angliae_p1.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna_charta_cum_statutis_angliae_p1.jpg)

*Magna carta cum statutis angliae* (Great Charter with English Statutes), early 14th-century

During the reign of King [Edward III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_III_of_England) six measures, later known as the *Six Statutes* , were passed between 1331 and 1369. They sought to clarify certain parts of the Charters. In particular the third statute, in 1354, redefined clause 29, with “free man” becoming “no man, of whatever [estate](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estates_of_the_realm) or condition he may be”, and introduced the phrase “[due process of law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Due_process)” for “lawful judgement of his peers or the law of the land”.[[145]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b123-151)

Between the 13th and 15th centuries Magna Carta was reconfirmed 32 times according to Sir [Edward Coke](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Coke), and possibly as many as 45 times.[[146]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEThompson19489–10-152)[[147]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003a-153) Often the first item of parliamentary business was a public reading and reaffirmation of the Charter, and, as in the previous century, parliaments often exacted confirmation of it from the monarch.[[147]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003a-153) The Charter was confirmed in 1423 by King [Henry VI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VI_of_England).[[148]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-154)[[149]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-155)[[150]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-156)

By the mid-15th century, Magna Carta ceased to occupy a central role in English political life, as monarchs reasserted authority and powers which had been challenged in the 100 years after Edward I’s reign.[[151]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b132-157) The Great Charter remained a text for lawyers, particularly as a protector of property rights, and became more widely read than ever as printed versions circulated and levels of literacy increased.[[152]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b133-158)

### 16th century

[![|220×261](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/Magna_Carta_confirmed_by_Henry_III.jpg/220px-Magna_Carta_confirmed_by_Henry_III.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna_Carta_confirmed_by_Henry_III.jpg)

A version of the Charter of 1217, produced between 1437 and c. 1450

During the 16th century, the interpretation of Magna Carta and the First Barons’ War shifted.[[153]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990185–187-159) [Henry VII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VII_of_England) took power at the end of the turbulent [Wars of the Roses](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wars_of_the_Roses), followed by [Henry VIII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VIII_of_England), and extensive propaganda under both rulers promoted the legitimacy of the regime, the illegitimacy of any sort of rebellion against royal power, and the priority of supporting the Crown in its arguments with the Papacy.[[154]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990185–86-160)

Tudor historians rediscovered the [Barnwell chronicler](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnwell_chronicler), who was more favourable to King John than other 13th-century texts, and, as historian Ralph Turner describes, they “viewed King John in a positive light as a hero struggling against the papacy”, showing “little sympathy for the Great Charter or the rebel barons”.[[155]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b138-161) Pro-Catholic demonstrations during the [1536 uprising](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrimage_of_Grace) cited Magna Carta, accusing the King of not giving it sufficient respect.[[156]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990188-162)

The first mechanically printed edition of Magna Carta was probably the *Magna Carta cum aliis Antiquis Statutis* of 1508 by [Richard Pynson](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pynson), although the early printed versions of the 16th century incorrectly attributed the origins of Magna Carta to Henry III and 1225, rather than to John and 1215, and accordingly worked from the later text.[[157]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEThompson1948146-163)[[158]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990324-164)[[159]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990187-165) An abridged English-language edition was published by [John Rastell](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rastell) in 1527. [Thomas Berthelet](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Berthelet), Pynson’s successor as the royal printer during 1530–1547, printed an edition of the text along with other “ancient statutes” in 1531 and 1540.[[160]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-166) In 1534, [George Ferrers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Ferrers) published the first unabridged English-language edition of Magna Carta, dividing the Charter into 37 numbered clauses.[[161]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEThompson1948147–49-167)

At the end of the 16th century, there was an upsurge in antiquarian interest in England.[[156]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990188-162) This work concluded that there was a set of ancient English customs and laws, temporarily overthrown by the [Norman invasion of 1066](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_conquest_of_England), which had then been recovered in 1215 and recorded in Magna Carta, which in turn gave authority to important 16th century legal principles.[[162]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b140-168)[[156]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990188-162)[[163]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004280-169) Modern historians note that although this narrative was fundamentally incorrect—many refer to it as a “[myth](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_myth)”—it took on great importance among the legal historians of the time.[[163]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004280-169)[[g]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-174)

The antiquarian [William Lambarde](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Lambarde), for example, published what he believed were the Anglo-Saxon and Norman law codes, tracing the origins of the 16th-century English Parliament back to this period, albeit misinterpreting the dates of many documents concerned.[[162]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b140-168) [Francis Bacon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon) argued that clause 39 of Magna Carta was the basis of the 16th-century jury system and judicial processes.[[168]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEEele201320-175) Antiquarians [Robert Beale](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Beale_(diplomat)), [James Morice](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Morice), and [Richard Cosin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cosin) argued that Magna Carta was a statement of liberty and a fundamental, supreme law empowering English government.[[169]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEThompson1948216–30-176) Those who questioned these conclusions, including the Member of Parliament [Arthur Hall](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Hall_(English_politician)), faced sanctions.[[170]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPocock1987154-177)[[171]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWright191972-178)

### 17th–18th centuries

#### Political tensions

[![|170×218](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/33/Edward_coke.jpg/170px-Edward_coke.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Edward_coke.jpg)

[Jurist](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurist) [Edward Coke](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Coke) made extensive political use of Magna Carta.

In the early 17th century, Magna Carta became increasingly important as a political document in arguments over the authority of the English monarchy.[[172]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990188–89-179) [James I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_VI_and_I) and [Charles I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_of_England) both propounded greater authority for the Crown, justified by the doctrine of the [divine right of kings](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_right_of_kings), and Magna Carta was cited extensively by their opponents to challenge the monarchy.[[165]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201046-171)

Magna Carta, it was argued, recognised and protected the liberty of individual Englishmen, made the King subject to the common law of the land, formed the origin of the trial by jury system, and acknowledged the ancient origins of Parliament: because of Magna Carta and this [ancient constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_constitution), an English monarch was unable to alter these long-standing English customs.[[165]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201046-171)[[172]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990188–89-179)[[173]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPocock1987300-180)[[174]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEGreenberg2006148-181) Although the arguments based on Magna Carta were historically inaccurate, they nonetheless carried symbolic power, as the charter had immense significance during this period; antiquarians such as Sir [Henry Spelman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Spelman) described it as “the most majestic and a sacrosanct anchor to English Liberties”.[[165]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201046-171)[[172]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990188–89-179)[[163]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004280-169)

Sir Edward Coke was a leader in using Magna Carta as a political tool during this period. Still working from the 1225 version of the text—the first printed copy of the 1215 charter only emerged in 1610—Coke spoke and wrote about Magna Carta repeatedly.[[163]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004280-169) His work was challenged at the time by [Lord Ellesmere](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Egerton,_1st_Viscount_Brackley), and modern historians such as Ralph Turner and Claire Breay have critiqued Coke as “misconstruing” the original charter “anachronistically and uncritically”, and taking a “very selective” approach to his analysis.[[165]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201046-171)[[175]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b148-182) More sympathetically, [J. C. Holt](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._C._Holt) noted that the history of the charters had already become “distorted” by the time Coke was carrying out his work.[[176]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt1992b20–21-183)

[![|170×210](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/12/John_Lilburne.jpg/170px-John_Lilburne.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_Lilburne.jpg)

[John Lilburne](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lilburne) criticised Magna Carta as an inadequate definition of English liberties.

In 1621, a bill was presented to Parliament to renew Magna Carta; although this bill failed, lawyer [John Selden](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Selden) argued during [Darnell’s Case](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darnell%27s_Case) in 1627 that the right of *habeas corpus* was backed by Magna Carta.[[177]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b156-184)[[178]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990189-185) Coke supported the [Petition of Right](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petition_of_Right) in 1628, which cited Magna Carta in its preamble, attempting to extend the provisions, and to make them binding on the judiciary.[[179]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990189–190-186)[[180]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b157-187) The monarchy responded by arguing that the historical legal situation was much less clear-cut than was being claimed, restricted the activities of antiquarians, arrested Coke for treason, and suppressed his proposed book on Magna Carta.[[178]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990189-185)[[181]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004280–81-188) Charles initially did not agree to the Petition of Right, and refused to confirm Magna Carta in any way that would reduce his independence as King.[[182]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTERussell199041-189)[[183]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990190-190)

England descended into [civil war](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War) in the 1640s, resulting in Charles I’s execution in 1649. Under the [republic](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_of_England) that followed, some questioned whether Magna Carta, an agreement with a monarch, was still relevant.[[184]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004271-191) An anti-[Cromwellian](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Cromwell) pamphlet published in 1660, *The English devil* , said that the nation had been “compelled to submit to this Tyrant Nol or be cut off by him; nothing but a word and a blow, his Will was his Law; tell him of Magna Carta, he would lay his hand on his sword and cry Magna Farta”.[[185]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWoolwrych200395-192) In a 2005 speech the [Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Chief_Justice_of_England_and_Wales), [Lord Woolf](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Woolf,_Baron_Woolf), repeated the claim that Cromwell had referred to Magna Carta as “Magna Farta”.[[186]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-woolfspeech-193)

The radical groups that flourished during this period held differing opinions of Magna Carta. The [Levellers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levellers) rejected history and law as presented by their contemporaries, holding instead to an “anti-Normanism” viewpoint.[[187]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPocock1987127-194) [John Lilburne](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lilburne), for example, argued that Magna Carta contained only some of the freedoms that had supposedly existed under the Anglo-Saxons before being crushed by the [Norman yoke](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_yoke).[[188]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEKewes2006279-195) The Leveller [Richard Overton](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Overton_(Leveller)) described the charter as “a beggarly thing containing many marks of intolerable bondage”.[[189]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEKewes2006226-196) Both saw Magna Carta as a useful declaration of liberties that could be used against governments they disagreed with.[[190]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004281–82-197) [Gerrard Winstanley](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrard_Winstanley), the leader of the more extreme [Diggers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diggers), stated “the best lawes that England hath, [viz., the Magna Carta] were got by our Forefathers importunate petitioning unto the kings that still were their Task-masters; and yet these best laws are yoaks and manicles, tying one sort of people to be slaves to another; Clergy and Gentry have got their freedom, but the common people still are, and have been left servants to work for them.”[[191]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHill2006111–22-198)[[192]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTELinebaugh200985-199)

#### Glorious Revolution

[![|170×235](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d0/Magna_Carta_-_John_Pine_engraving_1733.jpg/170px-Magna_Carta_-_John_Pine_engraving_1733.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna_Carta_-_John_Pine_engraving_1733.jpg)

A 1733 engraving of the Charter of 1215 by [John Pine](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pine)

The first attempt at a proper [historiography](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historiography) was undertaken by [Robert Brady](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Brady_(writer)),[[193]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPocock1987182–228-200) who refuted the supposed antiquity of Parliament and belief in the immutable continuity of the law. Brady realised that the liberties of the Charter were limited and argued that the liberties were the grant of the King. By putting Magna Carta in historical context, he cast doubt on its contemporary political relevance;[[194]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b165-201) his historical understanding did not survive the [Glorious Revolution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Revolution), which, according to the historian [J. G. A. Pocock](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._G._A._Pocock), “marked a setback for the course of English historiography.”[[195]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPocock1987228-202)

According to the [Whig interpretation of history](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_interpretation_of_history), the Glorious Revolution was an example of the reclaiming of ancient liberties. Reinforced with [Lockean](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke) concepts, the [Whigs](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whigs_(British_political_party)) believed England’s constitution to be a [social contract](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract), based on documents such as Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, and the [Bill of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_1689).[[196]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b169–70-203) The *English Liberties* (1680, in later versions often *British Liberties* ) by the Whig propagandist [Henry Care](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Care) (d. 1688) was a cheap polemical book that was influential and much-reprinted, in the American colonies as well as Britain, and made Magna Carta central to the history and the contemporary legitimacy of its subject.[[197]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreayHarrison2015110–11,_134-204)

Ideas about the nature of law in general were beginning to change. In 1716, the [Septennial Act](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septennial_Act_1716) was passed, which had a number of consequences. First, it showed that Parliament no longer considered its previous statutes unassailable, as it provided for a maximum parliamentary term of seven years, whereas the [Triennial Act](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triennial_Acts) (1694) (enacted less than a quarter of a century previously) had provided for a maximum term of three years.[[198]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTELinebaugh2009113–14-205)

It also greatly extended the powers of Parliament. Under this new constitution, monarchical [absolutism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_monarchy) was replaced by [parliamentary supremacy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_sovereignty). It was quickly realised that Magna Carta stood in the same relation to the King-in-Parliament as it had to the King without Parliament. This supremacy would be challenged by the likes of [Granville Sharp](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granville_Sharp). Sharp regarded Magna Carta as a fundamental part of the constitution, and maintained that it would be treason to repeal any part of it. He also held that the Charter prohibited [slavery](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery).[[198]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTELinebaugh2009113–14-205)

Sir [William Blackstone](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blackstone) published a critical edition of the 1215 Charter in 1759, and gave it the numbering system still used today.[[199]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b67–68-206) In 1763, Member of Parliament [John Wilkes](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wilkes) was arrested for writing an inflammatory pamphlet, *No. 45, 23 April 1763* ; he cited Magna Carta continually.[[200]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEFryde2001207-207) [Lord Camden](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Pratt,_1st_Earl_Camden#John_Wilkes_MP) denounced the treatment of Wilkes as a contravention of Magna Carta.[[201]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-208) [Thomas Paine](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine), in his *[Rights of Man](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_of_Man)* , would disregard Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights on the grounds that they were not a written constitution devised by elected representatives.[[202]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-209)

#### Use in the Thirteen Colonies and the United States

[![|220×165](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/03/Magna_Carta_replica_and_display_in_the_rotunda_of_the_United_States_Capitol%2C_Washington%2C_DC_-_20070517.jpg/220px-Magna_Carta_replica_and_display_in_the_rotunda_of_the_United_States_Capitol%2C_Washington%2C_DC_-_20070517.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna_Carta_replica_and_display_in_the_rotunda_of_the_United_States_Capitol,_Washington,_DC_-_20070517.jpg)

Magna Carta replica and display in the rotunda of the [United States Capitol](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Capitol), Washington, D.C.

When English colonists left for the New World, they brought royal charters that established the colonies. The [Massachusetts Bay Company](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_Bay_Colony) charter, for example, stated that the colonists would “have and enjoy all liberties and immunities of free and natural subjects.”[[203]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-210) The [Virginia Charter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Company) of 1606, which was largely drafted by Sir Edward Coke, stated that the colonists would have the same “liberties, franchises and immunities” as people born in England.[[204]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHoward200828-211) The [Massachusetts Body of Liberties](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_Body_of_Liberties) contained similarities to clause 29 of Magna Carta; when drafting it, the [Massachusetts General Court](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_General_Court) viewed Magna Carta as the chief embodiment of English common law.[[205]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHazeltine1917194-212) The other colonies would follow their example. In 1638, [Maryland](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Maryland) sought to recognise Magna Carta as part of the law of the province, but the request was denied by Charles I.[[206]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHazeltine1917195-213)

In 1687, [William Penn](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Penn) published *The Excellent Privilege of Liberty and Property: being the birth-right of the Free-Born Subjects of England* , which contained the first copy of Magna Carta printed on American soil. Penn’s comments reflected Coke’s, indicating a belief that Magna Carta was a [fundamental law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_Laws_of_England).[[207]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b210-214) The colonists drew on English law books, leading them to an anachronistic interpretation of Magna Carta, believing that it guaranteed trial by jury and *habeas corpus* .[[208]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b211-215)

The development of parliamentary supremacy in the British Isles did not constitutionally affect the [Thirteen Colonies](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteen_Colonies), which retained an adherence to [English common law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_common_law), but it directly affected the relationship between Britain and the colonies.[[209]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHazeltine1917183–84-216) When American colonists fought against Britain, they were fighting not so much for new freedom, but to preserve liberties and rights that they believed to be enshrined in Magna Carta.[[210]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-NARA-legacy-217)

In the late 18th century, the [United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution) became the [supreme law of the land](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause), recalling the manner in which Magna Carta had come to be regarded as fundamental law.[[210]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-NARA-legacy-217) The Constitution’s [Fifth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution) guarantees that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”, a phrase that was derived from Magna Carta.[[211]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-NARA-Magna_Carta-218) In addition, the Constitution included a similar writ in the [Suspension Clause](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denied_powers), Article 1, Section 9: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.”[[212]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-219)

Each of these proclaim that no person may be imprisoned or detained without evidence that he or she committed a crime. The [Ninth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution) states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The writers of the U.S. Constitution wished to ensure that the rights they already held, such as those that they believed were provided by Magna Carta, would be preserved unless explicitly curtailed.[[213]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEStimson2004124-220)[[214]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBlack199910-221)

The [Supreme Court of the United States](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States) has explicitly referenced [Lord Coke](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Coke)’s analysis of Magna Carta as an antecedent of the [Sixth Amendment’s](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution) right to a speedy trial.[[215]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-222)

### 19th–21st centuries

#### Interpretation

[![|220×177](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/A_Chronicle_of_England_-_Page_226_-_John_Signs_the_Great_Charter.jpg/220px-A_Chronicle_of_England_-_Page_226_-_John_Signs_the_Great_Charter.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A_Chronicle_of_England_-_Page_226_-_John_Signs_the_Great_Charter.jpg)

A romanticised 19th-century recreation of King John signing Magna Carta

Initially, the Whig interpretation of Magna Carta and its role in constitutional history remained dominant during the 19th century. The historian [William Stubbs](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stubbs)’s *Constitutional History of England* , published in the 1870s, formed the high-water mark of this view.[[216]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b199–200-223) Stubbs argued that Magna Carta had been a major step in the shaping of the English nation, and he believed that the barons at Runnymede in 1215 were not just representing the nobility, but the people of England as a whole, standing up to a tyrannical ruler in the form of King John.[[216]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b199–200-223)[[217]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEFryde20011-224)

This view of Magna Carta began to recede. The late-Victorian jurist and historian [Frederic William Maitland](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederic_William_Maitland) provided an alternative academic history in 1899, which began to return Magna Carta to its historical roots.[[218]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTESimmons199869–83-225) In 1904, [Edward Jenks](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Jenks) published an article entitled “The Myth of Magna Carta”, which undermined the previously accepted view of Magna Carta.[[219]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEGalef199878–79-226) Historians such as [Albert Pollard](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Pollard) agreed with Jenks in concluding that Edward Coke had largely “invented” the myth of Magna Carta in the 17th century; these historians argued that the 1215 charter had not referred to liberty for the people at large, but rather to the protection of baronial rights.[[220]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPollard191231–32-227)

This view also became popular in wider circles, and in 1930 [Sellar and Yeatman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sellar_and_Yeatman) published their parody on English history, *[1066 and All That](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1066_and_All_That)* , in which they mocked the supposed importance of Magna Carta and its promises of universal liberty: “Magna Charter was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus a *Good Thing* for everyone (except the Common People)”.[[221]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBarnes200823-228)[[222]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004283-229)

In many literary representations of the medieval past, however, Magna Carta remained a foundation of English national identity. Some authors used the medieval roots of the document as an argument to preserve the social status quo, while others pointed to Magna Carta to challenge perceived economic injustices.[[218]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTESimmons199869–83-225) The [Baronial Order of Magna Charta](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baronial_Order_of_Magna_Charta) was formed in 1898 to promote the ancient principles and values felt to be displayed in Magna Carta.[[223]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-230) The legal profession in England and the United States continued to hold Magna Carta in high esteem; they were instrumental in forming the Magna Carta Society in 1922 to protect the meadows at Runnymede from development in the 1920s, and in 1957, the [American Bar Association](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Bar_Association) erected the [Magna Carta Memorial](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta_Memorial) at Runnymede.[[211]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-NARA-Magna_Carta-218)[[224]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWright1990167-231)[[225]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt1992b2–3-232) The prominent lawyer [Lord Denning](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Denning,_Baron_Denning) described Magna Carta in 1956 as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot”.[[226]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004278-233)

#### Repeal of articles and constitutional influence

Radicals such as Sir [Francis Burdett](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Burdett) believed that Magna Carta could not be repealed,[[227]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBurdett181041-234) but in the 19th century clauses which were obsolete or had been superseded began to be repealed. The repeal of clause 36 in 1829, by the [Offences against the Person Act 1828](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offences_against_the_Person_Act_1828) (9 [Geo. 4](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_IV_of_the_United_Kingdom) c. 31 s. 1),[[228]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-UKStatute-235) was the first time a clause of Magna Carta was repealed. Over the next 140 years, nearly the whole of Magna Carta (1297) as statute was repealed,[[229]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-236) leaving just clauses 1, 9, and 29 still in force (in England and Wales) after 1969. Most of the clauses were repealed in England and Wales by the [Statute Law Revision Act 1863](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_Law_Revision_Act_1863), and in modern [Northern Ireland](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Ireland) and also in the modern [Republic of Ireland](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Ireland) by the [Statute Law (Ireland) Revision Act 1872](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_Law_(Ireland)_Revision_Act_1872).[[228]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-UKStatute-235)

Many later attempts to draft constitutional forms of government trace their lineage back to Magna Carta. The British dominions, Australia and New Zealand,[[230]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEClark2000-237) Canada[[231]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEKennedy1922228-238) (except [Quebec](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec)), and formerly the [Union of South Africa](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_of_South_Africa) and [Southern Rhodesia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Rhodesia), reflected the influence of Magna Carta in their laws, and the Charter’s effects can be seen in the laws of other states that evolved from the [British Empire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire).[[232]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDrew2004pxvi–pxxiii-239)

#### Modern legacy

[![|300×200](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b6/ABA-wyrdlight-815935.jpg/300px-ABA-wyrdlight-815935.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ABA-wyrdlight-815935.jpg)

The [Magna Carta Memorial](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta_Memorial) at Runnymede, designed by Sir [Edward Maufe](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Maufe) and erected by the [American Bar Association](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Bar_Association) in 1957. The memorial stands in the meadow known historically as Long Mede: it is likely that the actual site of the sealing of Magna Carta lay further east, towards [Egham](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egham) and [Staines](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staines-upon-Thames).[[31]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETatton-Brown201536-34)

Magna Carta continues to have a powerful iconic status in British society, being cited by politicians and lawyers in support of constitutional positions.[[226]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDanzigerGillingham2004278-233)[[233]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201048-240) Its perceived guarantee of trial by jury and other civil liberties, for example, led to [Tony Benn](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Benn)’s reference to the debate in 2008 over whether to increase the maximum time terrorism suspects could be [held without charge](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remand_(detention)) from 28 to 42 days as “the day Magna Carta was repealed”.[[234]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-241) Although rarely invoked in court in the modern era, in 2012 the [Occupy London](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_London) protestors attempted to use Magna Carta in resisting their eviction from [St. Paul’s Churchyard](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Paul%27s_Churchyard) by the [City of London](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London). In his judgment the [Master of the Rolls](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_the_Rolls) gave this short shrift, noting somewhat drily that although clause 29 was considered by many the foundation of the rule of law in England, he did not consider it directly relevant to the case, and the two other surviving clauses actually concerned the rights of the Church and the City of London.[[235]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-242)[[236]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-243)

Magna Carta carries little legal weight in modern Britain, as most of its clauses have been repealed and relevant rights ensured by other statutes, but the historian James Holt remarks that the survival of the 1215 charter in national life is a “reflexion of the continuous development of English law and administration” and symbolic of the many struggles between authority and the law over the centuries.[[237]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt1992b2-244) The historian W. L. Warren has observed that “many who knew little and cared less about the content of the Charter have, in nearly all ages, invoked its name, and with good cause, for it meant more than it said”.[[238]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWarren1990240-245)

It also remains a topic of great interest to historians; [Natalie Fryde](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalie_Fryde) characterised the charter as “one of the holiest of cows in English medieval history”, with the debates over its interpretation and meaning unlikely to end.[[217]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEFryde20011-224) In many ways still a “sacred text”, Magna Carta is generally considered part of the [uncodified constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncodified_constitution) [of the United Kingdom](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_Kingdom); in a 2005 speech, the [Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Chief_Justice_of_England_and_Wales), [Lord Woolf](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Woolf,_Baron_Woolf), described it as the “first of a series of instruments that now are recognised as having a special constitutional status”.[[239]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHolt1992b21-246)[[186]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-woolfspeech-193)

Magna Carta was reprinted in [New Zealand](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand) in 1881 as one of the Imperial Acts in force there.[[240]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-247)

The document also continues to be honoured in the United States as an antecedent of the [United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution) and [Bill of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights).[[241]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-ChartersOfFreedom-248) In 1976, the UK lent one of four surviving originals of the 1215 Magna Carta to the United States for their bicentennial celebrations and also donated an ornate display case for it. The original was returned after one year, but a replica and the case are still on display in the [United States Capitol](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Capitol) Crypt in [Washington, D.C.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.)[[242]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-249)

#### Celebration of the 800th anniversary

![File:Four surviving Magna Carta to be brought together for the first time in history.webm](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e0/Four_surviving_Magna_Carta_to_be_brought_together_for_the_first_time_in_history.webm/220px–Four_surviving_Magna_Carta_to_be_brought_together_for_the_first_time_in_history.webm.jpg)[Play media](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Four_surviving_Magna_Carta_to_be_brought_together_for_the_first_time_in_history.webm)

The plan for four surviving original copies of Magna Carta to be brought together in 2015, at the [British Library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Library) in collaboration with [Lincoln Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Cathedral) and [Salisbury Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salisbury_Cathedral) and supported by the law firm [Linklaters](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linklaters)

The 800th anniversary of the original charter occurred on 15 June 2015, and organisations and institutions planned celebratory events.[[243]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-doward-250) The [British Library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Library) brought together the four existing copies of the 1215 manuscript in February 2015 for a special exhibition.[[244]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-251) British artist [Cornelia Parker](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelia_Parker) was commissioned to create a new artwork, *[Magna Carta (An Embroidery)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta_(An_Embroidery))* , which was shown at the British Library between May and July 2015.[[245]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-252) The artwork is a copy of an earlier version of this Wikipedia page (as it appeared on the document’s 799th anniversary, 15 June 2014), hand-embroidered by over 200 people.[[246]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-Embroidery-253)

On 15 June 2015, a commemoration ceremony was conducted in Runnymede at the National Trust park, attended by British and American dignitaries.[[247]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-254)

The copy held by [Lincoln Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Cathedral) was exhibited in the [Library of Congress](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Congress) in Washington, D.C., from November 2014 until January 2015.[[248]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-255) A new visitor centre at [Lincoln Castle](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Castle) was opened for the anniversary.[[249]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-256) The [Royal Mint](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mint) released two commemorative [two-pound coins](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_pounds_(British_coin)).[[250]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-257)[[251]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-258)

In 2014, [Bury St Edmunds](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bury_St_Edmunds) in [Suffolk](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suffolk) celebrated the 800th anniversary of the barons’ Charter of Liberties, said to have been secretly agreed there in November 1214.[[252]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-259)

## Content

### Physical format

Numerous copies, known as [exemplifications](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exemplified_copy), were made of the various charters, and many of them still survive.[[253]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201037-260) The documents were written in heavily abbreviated medieval Latin in clear handwriting, using [quill](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quill) pens on sheets of [parchment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parchment) made from sheep skin, approximately 15 by 20 inches (380 by 510 mm) across.[[254]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201037–38-261)[[255]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990143-262) They were sealed with the royal great seal by an official called the spigurnel, equipped with a special seal press, using beeswax and resin.[[256]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201038–39-263)[[255]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHindley1990143-262) There were no signatures on the charter of 1215, and the barons present did not attach their own [seals](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_(emblem)) to it.[[257]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBrowning189850-264) The charters were not numbered or divided into paragraphs or separate clauses at the time; the numbering system used today was introduced by the jurist Sir [William Blackstone](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blackstone) in 1759.[[199]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b67–68-206)

### Exemplifications

#### 1215 exemplifications

[![|170×367](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/Magna-carta-1225-C6257-03.jpg/170px-Magna-carta-1225-C6257-03.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna-carta-1225-C6257-03.jpg)

1225 charter, held in the British Library, with the [royal great seal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Seal_of_the_Realm) attached

At least 13 original copies of the 1215 charter were issued by the royal chancery at the time, seven in the first tranche distributed on 24 June and another six later; they were sent to county sheriffs and bishops, who would probably have been charged for the privilege.[[258]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201034–35-265) Variations would have existed between each of these copies and there was probably no single “master copy”.[[259]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201034-266) Of these documents, only four survive, all held in the UK: two by the [British Library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Library), one by [Lincoln Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Cathedral), and one by [Salisbury Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salisbury_Cathedral).[[260]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201035-267) Each of these versions is slightly different in size and text, and each is considered by historians to be equally authoritative.[[261]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201034–36-268)

The two 1215 charters held by the British Library, known as *Cotton MS. Augustus II.106* and *Cotton Charter XIII.31a* , were acquired by the antiquarian Sir [Robert Cotton](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Robert_Cotton,_1st_Baronet,_of_Connington) in the 17th century.[[262]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201035–36-269) One of these was originally found by Humphrey Wyems, a London lawyer, who may have discovered it in a tailor’s shop.[[263]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201036-270) The other was found in [Dover Castle](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dover_Castle) in 1630 by Sir [Edward Dering](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Edward_Dering,_1st_Baronet). The Dering charter is usually identified as the copy originally sent to the [Cinque Ports](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinque_Ports) in 1215.[[264]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2003b65-271) (In 2015 it was announced that [David Carpenter](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Carpenter_(historian)) had found Dering’s copy to be identical to a 1290s transcription made from [Canterbury Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canterbury_Cathedral)’s 1215 copy and so he suggests that the Dering copy’s destination was the Cathedral rather than the Cinque Ports.[[265]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-272)[[266]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-273)) This copy was damaged in the [Cotton library fire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_library#The_Ashburnham_House_fire) of 1731, when its seal was badly melted. The parchment was somewhat shrivelled but otherwise relatively unscathed, and an engraved [facsimile](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facsimile) of the charter was made by [John Pine](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Pine) in 1733. In the 1830s, however, an ill-judged and bungled attempt at cleaning and [conservation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_and_restoration_of_parchment) rendered the manuscript largely illegible to the naked eye.[[267]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreayHarrison201566,_216–19-274)[[268]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-275) This is, nonetheless, the only surviving 1215 copy still to have its great seal attached.[[269]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201036–37-276)[[270]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEDavis196336-277)

Lincoln Cathedral’s original copy of the 1215 charter has been held by the county since 1215; it was displayed in the Common Chamber in the cathedral before being moved to another building in 1846.[[271]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-NationalSocietyMagna-278)[[260]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201035-267) Between 1939 and 1940 the copy was displayed in the British Pavilion at the [1939 World Fair](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1939_New_York_World%27s_Fair) in [New York City](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City), and at the [Library of Congress](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Congress).[[272]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-:0-279) When the Second World War broke out, [Winston Churchill](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill) wanted to gift the charter to the American people, hoping that this would encourage the United States, then neutral, to enter the war against the Axis powers, but the cathedral was unwilling and the plans were dropped.[[273]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEVincent2012107-280) After December 1941, the copy was stored in [Fort Knox](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bullion_Depository), [Kentucky](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky) for safety, before being put on display again in 1944 and returned to Lincoln Cathedral in early 1946.[[274]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-281)[[275]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-282)[[272]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-:0-279)

The copy was put on display in 1976 in the cathedral’s [medieval library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Cathedral_Library).[[271]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-NationalSocietyMagna-278) It was subsequently displayed in San Francisco, and was taken out of display for a time to undergo conservation in preparation for another visit to the United States, where it was exhibited in 2007 at the [Contemporary Art Center of Virginia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Museum_of_Contemporary_Art) and the [National Constitution Center](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Constitution_Center) in Philadelphia.[[271]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-NationalSocietyMagna-278)[[276]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-283)[[277]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-284) The document returned to New York to be displayed at the [Fraunces Tavern](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraunces_Tavern) Museum during 2009.[[278]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-285) The document is currently on permanent loan to the [David PJ Ross](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ross_(businessman)) Vault at [Lincoln Castle](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Castle), along with an original copy of the 1217 [Charter of the Forest](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_Forest)[[279]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-286)[[280]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-287).

The fourth copy, owned by Salisbury Cathedral, was first given in 1215 to its predecessor, [Old Sarum Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Sarum_Cathedral).[[281]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-288) Rediscovered by the cathedral in 1812, it has remained in Salisbury throughout its history, except when being taken off-site for restoration work.[[282]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEVincent2012104-289)[[283]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-Salisbury_Cathedral_2013-290) It is possibly the best preserved of the four, although small pin holes can be seen in the parchment from where it was once pinned up.[[283]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-Salisbury_Cathedral_2013-290)[[284]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-291)[[285]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-292) The handwriting on this version is different from that of the other three, suggesting that it was not written by a royal scribe but rather by a member of the cathedral staff, who then had it exemplified by the royal court.[[282]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEVincent2012104-289)[[253]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201037-260)

#### Later exemplifications

[![|220×147](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/13/Magna_Carta_%281297_version%2C_Parliament_House%2C_Canberra%2C_Australia%29_-_20080416.jpg/220px-Magna_Carta_%281297_version%2C_Parliament_House%2C_Canberra%2C_Australia%29_-_20080416.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna_Carta_(1297_version,_Parliament_House,_Canberra,_Australia)_-_20080416.jpg)

A 1297 copy of Magna Carta, owned by the Australian Government and on display in the Members’ Hall of [Parliament House, Canberra](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_House,_Canberra)

Other early versions of the charters survive today. Only one exemplification of the 1216 charter survives, held in [Durham Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Cathedral).[[286]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEVincent2012106-293) Four copies of the 1217 charter exist; three of these are held by the Bodleian Library in Oxford and one by [Hereford Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereford_Cathedral).[[286]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEVincent2012106-293)[[287]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-Magna_Carta_pulls_in_the_crowds-294) Hereford’s copy is occasionally displayed alongside the [Mappa Mundi](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hereford_Mappa_Mundi) in the cathedral’s [chained library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chained_library) and has survived along with a small document called the *Articuli super Cartas* that was sent along with the charter, telling the sheriff of the county how to observe the conditions outlined in the document.[[288]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-295) One of the Bodleian’s copies was displayed at San Francisco’s [California Palace of the Legion of Honor](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Palace_of_the_Legion_of_Honor) in 2011.[[289]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-296)

Four exemplifications of the 1225 charter survive: the British Library holds one, which was preserved at Lacock Abbey until 1945; Durham Cathedral also holds a copy, with the Bodleian Library holding a third.[[287]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-Magna_Carta_pulls_in_the_crowds-294)[[290]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-297)[[291]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-298) The fourth copy of the 1225 exemplification was held by the museum of the [Public Record Office](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Record_Office) and is now held by [The National Archives](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_National_Archives_(United_Kingdom)).[[292]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTELewis1987494-299)[[293]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-300) The [Society of Antiquaries](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Antiquaries_of_London) also holds a draft of the 1215 charter (discovered in 2013 in a late 13th-century register from [Peterborough Abbey](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterborough_Abbey)), a copy of the 1225 third re-issue (within an early 14th-century collection of statutes) and a roll copy of the 1225 reissue.[[294]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-301)

Only two exemplifications of Magna Carta are held outside England, both from 1297. One of these was purchased in 1952 by the Australian Government for £12,500 from [King’s School, Bruton](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_School,_Bruton), England.[[295]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-302) This copy is now on display in the Members’ Hall of [Parliament House](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_House,_Canberra), Canberra.[[296]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-303) The second was originally held by the [Brudenell family](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Cardigan), earls of [Cardigan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardigan,_Ceredigion), before they sold it in 1984 to the [Perot Foundation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perot_Foundation) in the United States, which in 2007 sold it to U.S. businessman [David Rubenstein](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rubenstein) for US$21.3 million.[[297]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-304)[[298]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-305)[[299]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-306) Rubenstein commented “I have always believed that this was an important document to our country, even though it wasn’t drafted in our country. I think it was the basis for the Declaration of Independence and the basis for the Constitution”. This exemplification is now on permanent loan to the [National Archives](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Archives_and_Records_Administration) in Washington, D.C.[[300]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEVincent2015160-307)[[301]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-308) Only two other 1297 exemplifications survive,[[302]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-magnacartacanada.ca-309) one of which is held in the UK’s National Archives.[[303]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-310)

Seven copies of the 1300 exemplification by Edward I survive,[[302]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-magnacartacanada.ca-309)[[304]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-bbc.co.uk-311) in [Faversham](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faversham),[[305]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-312) [Oriel College, Oxford](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriel_College,_Oxford), the [Bodleian Library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodleian_Library), [Durham Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Cathedral), [Westminster Abbey](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Abbey), the [City of London](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London) (held in the archives at the [London Guildhall](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Guildhall)[[306]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-313)) and [Sandwich](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich) (held in the [Kent County Council](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_County_Council) archives). The Sandwich copy was rediscovered in early 2015 in a Victorian scrapbook in the town archives of [Sandwich, Kent](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich,_Kent), one of the [Cinque Ports](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinque_Ports).[[304]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-bbc.co.uk-311) In the case of the Sandwich and Oriel College exemplifications, the copies of the [Charter of the Forest](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_the_Forest) originally issued with them also survive.

### Clauses

[![A photograph of the "heads" side of a silver King John penny|170×171](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e7/John_penny.jpg/170px-John_penny.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_penny.jpg)

A [silver](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver) King John [penny](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny); much of Magna Carta concerned how royal revenues were raised

Most of the 1215 charter and later versions sought to govern the feudal rights of the Crown over the barons.[[307]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201028-314) Under the Angevin kings, and in particular during John’s reign, the rights of the King had frequently been used inconsistently, often in an attempt to maximise the royal income from the barons. [Feudal relief](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudal_relief) was one way that a king could demand money, and clauses 2 and 3 fixed the fees payable when an heir inherited an estate or when a minor came of age and took possession of his lands.[[307]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201028-314) [Scutage](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutage) was a form of medieval taxation; all knights and nobles owed military service to the Crown in return for their lands, which theoretically belonged to the King, but many preferred to avoid this service and offer money instead; the Crown often used the cash to pay for mercenaries.[[308]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPoole199316–17-315) The rate of scutage that should be payable, and the circumstances under which it was appropriate for the King to demand it, was uncertain and controversial; clauses 12 and 14 addressed the management of the process.[[307]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201028-314)

The English judicial system had altered considerably over the previous century, with the royal judges playing a larger role in delivering justice across the country. John had used his royal discretion to extort large sums of money from the barons, effectively taking payment to offer justice in particular cases, and the role of the Crown in delivering justice had become politically sensitive among the barons. Clauses 39 and 40 demanded due process be applied in the royal justice system, while clause 45 required that the King appoint knowledgeable royal officials to the relevant roles.[[309]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201029-316) Although these clauses did not have any special significance in the original charter, this part of Magna Carta became singled out as particularly important in later centuries.[[309]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201029-316) In the United States, for example, the [Supreme Court of California](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_California) interpreted clause 45 in 1974 as establishing a requirement in common law that a defendant faced with the potential of incarceration be entitled to a trial overseen by a legally trained judge.[[310]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-317)

[![|170×280](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/John_of_England_%28John_Lackland%29.jpg/170px-John_of_England_%28John_Lackland%29.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_of_England_(John_Lackland).jpg)

King John holding a church, painted c. 1250–59 by [Matthew Paris](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Paris)

[Royal forests](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_forest) were economically important in medieval England and were both protected and exploited by the Crown, supplying the King with hunting grounds, raw materials, and money.[[311]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHuscroft200597-318)[[312]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPoole199329–30-319) They were subject to special royal jurisdiction and the resulting forest law was, according to the historian Richard Huscroft, “harsh and arbitrary, a matter purely for the King’s will”.[[311]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHuscroft200597-318) The size of the forests had expanded under the Angevin kings, an unpopular development.[[313]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPoole199329-320)

The 1215 charter had several clauses relating to the royal forests; clauses 47 and 48 promised to deforest the lands added to the forests under John and investigate the use of royal rights in this area, but notably did not address the forestation of the previous kings, while clause 53 promised some form of redress for those affected by the recent changes, and clause 44 promised some relief from the operation of the forest courts.[[314]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201032-321) Neither Magna Carta nor the subsequent Charter of the Forest proved entirely satisfactory as a way of managing the political tensions arising in the operation of the royal forests.[[314]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201032-321)

Some of the clauses addressed wider economic issues. The concerns of the barons over the treatment of their debts to Jewish moneylenders, who occupied a special position in medieval England and were by tradition under the King’s protection, were addressed by clauses 10 and 11.[[315]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEPoole1993353,_474-322) The charter concluded this section with the phrase “debts owing to other than Jews shall be dealt with likewise”, so it is debatable to what extent the Jews were being singled out by these clauses.[[316]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHillaby201323-323) Some issues were relatively specific, such as clause 33 which ordered the removal of all [fishing weirs](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishing_weir)—an important and growing source of revenue at the time—from England’s rivers.[[314]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201032-321)

The role of the English Church had been a matter for great debate in the years prior to the 1215 charter. The Norman and Angevin kings had traditionally exercised a great deal of power over the church within their territories. From the 1040s onwards successive popes had emphasised the importance of the church being governed more effectively from Rome, and had established an independent judicial system and hierarchical chain of authority.[[317]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHuscroft2005190-324) After the 1140s, these principles had been largely accepted within the English church, even if accompanied by an element of concern about centralising authority in Rome.[[318]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHuscroft2005189-325)[[319]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTETurner2009121-326)

[These changes](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investiture_Controversy) brought the customary rights of lay rulers such as John over ecclesiastical appointments into question.[[318]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEHuscroft2005189-325) As described above, John had come to a compromise with Pope Innocent III in exchange for his political support for the King, and clause 1 of Magna Carta prominently displayed this arrangement, promising the freedoms and liberties of the church.[[307]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201028-314) The importance of this clause may also reflect the role of Archbishop Langton in the negotiations: Langton had taken a strong line on this issue during his career.[[307]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201028-314)

#### Clauses in detail

Magna Carta clauses in the 1215 and later charters

#### Clauses remaining in English law

Only three clauses of Magna Carta still remain on statute in England and Wales.[[233]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201048-240) These clauses concern 1) the freedom of the English Church, 2) the “ancient liberties” of the City of London (clause 13 in the 1215 charter, clause 9 in the 1297 statute), and 3) a right to due legal process (clauses 39 and 40 in the 1215 charter, clause 29 in the 1297 statute).[[233]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBreay201048-240) In detail, these clauses (using the numbering system from the 1297 statute) state that:

> * I. FIRST, We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have confirmed, for Us and our Heirs for ever, that the Church of England shall be free, and shall have all her whole Rights and Liberties inviolable. We have granted also, and given to all the Freemen of our Realm, for Us and our Heirs for ever, these Liberties under-written, to have and to hold to them and their Heirs, of Us and our Heirs for ever.
> * IX. THE [City of London](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_London) shall have all the old Liberties and Customs which it hath been used to have. Moreover We will and grant, that all other Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and the Barons of the [Five Ports](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinque_Ports), as with all other Ports, shall have all their Liberties and free Customs.
> * XXIX. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the [Law of the land](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_the_land). We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.[[228]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta#cite_note-UKStatute-235)

## See also

* [Civil liberties in the United Kingdom](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_liberties_in_the_United_Kingdom)
* [Fundamental Laws of England](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_Laws_of_England)
* [History of democracy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_democracy)
* [History of human rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_human_rights)
* [Magna Carta Hiberniae](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Charter_of_Ireland) – an issue of the English Magna Carta, or Great Charter of Liberties in Ireland
* [Statutes of Mortmain](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutes_of_Mortmain)
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights]( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights)

# United States Bill of Rights

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[Jump to navigation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#mw-head) [Jump to search](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#p-search)

United States Bill of Rights
[![Bill of Rights Pg1of1 AC.jpg\ 220×234](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/79/Bill_of_Rights_Pg1of1_AC.jpg/220px-Bill_of_Rights_Pg1of1_AC.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bill_of_Rights_Pg1of1_AC.jpg)

United States Bill of Rights
Created September 25, 1789
[Ratified](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratification) December 15, 1791
Location [National Archives](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Archives_and_Records_Administration)
Author(s) [James Madison](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison)

This article is part of [a series](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:United_States_Constitution) on the
[Constitution of the
United States of America](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution)
[![Greater coat of arms of the United States.svg\ 160×169](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5b/Greater_coat_of_arms_of_the_United_States.svg/160px-Greater_coat_of_arms_of_the_United_States.svg.png)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greater_coat_of_arms_of_the_United_States.svg)
Preamble and Articles
of the Constitution
* [Preamble](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preamble_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

* [I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [II](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Two_of_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Three_of_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [IV](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Four_of_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [V](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [VI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Six_of_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [VII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Seven_of_the_United_States_Constitution)
[Amendments to the Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Ratified_amendments)
* **Bill of Rights**

* [I](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [II](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [III](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [IV](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [V](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [VI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [VII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [VIII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [IX](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [X](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

* [XI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelfth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XIII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XIV](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XV](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XVI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XVII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventeenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XVIII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XIX](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XX](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twentieth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XXI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-first_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XXII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XXIII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-third_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XXIV](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XXV](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XXVI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-sixth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [XXVII](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
[Unratified Amendments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Unratified_amendments)
* [Congressional Apportionment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Apportionment_Amendment)
* [Titles of Nobility](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titles_of_Nobility_Amendment)
* [Corwin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corwin_Amendment)
* [Child Labor](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_Labor_Amendment)
* [Equal Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment)
* [D.C. Voting Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_Voting_Rights_Amendment)
[History](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [Drafting and ratification timeline](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_drafting_and_ratification_of_the_United_States_Constitution)

* [Convention](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_Convention_(United_States))
* [Signing](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signing_of_the_United_States_Constitution)

* [Federalism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalism_in_the_United_States)
* [Republicanism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism_in_the_United_States)
Full text of the Constitution and Amendments
* [Preamble and Articles I–VII](https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_States_of_America)
* [Amendments I–X](https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights)

* [Amendments XI–XXVII](https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Additional_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [Unratified Amendments](https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Portal:Unsuccessful_attempts_to_amend_the_United_States_Constitution)
* [![Flag of the United States.svg\ 16×8](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/16px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_the_United_States.svg) [United States portal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:United_States)
* [U.S. Government portal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Government_of_the_United_States)
* [Law portal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Law)
* [Wikipedia book](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book:United_States_Constitution)
* [v](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:US_Constitution_article_series)
* [t](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:US_Constitution_article_series)
* [e](https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:US_Constitution_article_series&action=edit)

The **Bill of Rights** is the first ten [amendments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution) to the [United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution).[[1]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-NA-CoF-1) Proposed following the often bitter 1787–88 battle over ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and crafted to address the objections raised by [Anti-Federalists](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Federalism), the Bill of Rights amendments add to the Constitution specific guarantees of personal freedoms and [rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_and_legal_rights), clear limitations on the government’s power in judicial and other proceedings, and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the states or the [people](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_sovereignty). The concepts [codified](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codification_(law)) in these amendments are built upon those found in several earlier documents, including the [Virginia Declaration of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Declaration_of_Rights) and the [English Bill of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_1689), along with earlier documents such as [Magna Carta](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta) (1215). In practice, the amendments had little impact on judgments by the courts for the first 150 years after ratification.[ *[citation needed](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)* ]

On June 8, 1789, Representative [James Madison](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison) introduced nine amendments to the Constitution in the [House of Representatives](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives).[[2]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-2) Madison proposed inserting specific rights limiting the power of Congress in [Article One, Section 9](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution). Seven of these limitations would become part of the ten ratified Bill of Rights amendments. Ultimately, on September 25, 1789, [Congress](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_United_States_Congress) approved twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution, each consisting of one one-sentence paragraph, and submitted them to the [states](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state) for [ratification](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution). Contrary to Madison’s original proposal that the articles be incorporated into the main body of the Constitution, they were proposed as supplemental additions (codicils) to it. Articles Three through Twelve were ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, and became Amendments One through Ten of the Constitution. Article Two became part of the Constitution on May 5, 1992, as the [Twenty-seventh Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution).[[1]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-NA-CoF-1)[[3]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-EB-3) [Article One](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Apportionment_Amendment) is still pending before the states.

Although Madison’s proposed amendments included a provision to extend the protection of some of the Bill of Rights to the states, the amendments that were finally submitted for ratification applied only to the federal government. The door for their application upon state governments was opened in the 1860s, following ratification of the [Fourteenth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution). Since the early 20th century both [federal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_judiciary_of_the_United_States) and [state courts](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_court_(United_States)) have used the Fourteenth Amendment to apply portions of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments. The process is known as [incorporation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Rights).[[4]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-4)

There are several original [engrossed](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engrossed) copies of the Bill of Rights still in existence. One of these is on permanent public display at the [National Archives](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Archives_and_Records_Administration) in [Washington, D.C.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.)

## Contents

* [1 Background](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Background)
* [1.1 The Philadelphia Convention](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#The_Philadelphia_Convention)
* [1.2 The Anti-Federalists](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#The_Anti-Federalists)
* [1.3 The Federalists](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#The_Federalists)
* [1.4 Massachusetts compromise](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Massachusetts_compromise)
* [2 Proposal and ratification](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Proposal_and_ratification)
* [2.1 Anticipating amendments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Anticipating_amendments)
* [2.2 Madison’s proposed amendments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Madison’s_proposed_amendments)
* [2.3 Crafting amendments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Crafting_amendments)
* [2.4 Ratification process](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Ratification_process)
* [3 Application and text](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Application_and_text)
* [3.1 First Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#First_Amendment)
* [3.2 Second Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Second_Amendment)
* [3.3 Third Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Third_Amendment)
* [3.4 Fourth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Fourth_Amendment)
* [3.5 Fifth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Fifth_Amendment)
* [3.6 Sixth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Sixth_Amendment)
* [3.7 Seventh Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Seventh_Amendment)
* [3.8 Eighth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Eighth_Amendment)
* [3.9 Ninth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Ninth_Amendment)
* [3.10 Tenth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Tenth_Amendment)
* [4 Display and honoring of the Bill of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Display_and_honoring_of_the_Bill_of_Rights)
* [5 See also](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#See_also)
* [6 References](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#References)
* [7 Further reading](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#Further_reading)
* [8 External links](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#External_links)

## Background

### The Philadelphia Convention

Main article: [Constitutional Convention (United States)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_Convention_(United_States))

Prior to the ratification and implementation of the [United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution), the thirteen sovereign [states](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state) followed the [Articles of Confederation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation), created by the [Second Continental Congress](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Continental_Congress) and ratified in 1781. However, the national government that operated under the Articles of Confederation was too weak to adequately regulate the various conflicts that arose between the states.[[5]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-TAH-5) The Philadelphia Convention set out to correct weaknesses of the Articles that had been apparent even before the [American Revolutionary War](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolutionary_War) had been successfully concluded.[[5]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-TAH-5)

The convention took place from May 14 to September 17, 1787, in [Philadelphia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia), Pennsylvania. Although the Convention was purportedly intended only to revise the Articles, the intention of many of its proponents, chief among them [James Madison](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison) of [Virginia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia) and [Alexander Hamilton](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Hamilton) of [New York](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_(state)), was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one. The convention convened in the [Pennsylvania State House](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Hall), and George Washington of Virginia was unanimously elected as president of the convention.[[6]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEStewart47-6) The 55 delegates who drafted the Constitution are among the men known as the [Founding Fathers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States) of the new nation. [Thomas Jefferson](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson), who was [Minister to France](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Ambassador_to_France) during the convention, characterized the delegates as an assembly of “demi-gods.”[[5]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-TAH-5) Rhode Island refused to send delegates to the convention.[[7]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBeeman59-7)

On September 12, [George Mason](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Mason) of Virginia suggested the addition of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution modeled on previous state declarations, and [Elbridge Gerry](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbridge_Gerry) of [Massachusetts](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts) made it a formal motion.[[8]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBeeman341-8) However, the motion was defeated by a unanimous vote of the state delegations after only a brief discussion. Madison, then an opponent of a Bill of Rights, later explained the vote by calling the state bills of rights “parchment barriers” that offered only an illusion of protection against tyranny.[[9]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBeeman343-9) Another delegate, [James Wilson](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Wilson) of [Pennsylvania](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania), later argued that the act of enumerating the rights of the people would have been dangerous, because it would imply that rights not explicitly mentioned did not exist;[[9]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBeeman343-9) Hamilton echoed this point in *[Federalist](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Federalist_Papers)* [No. 84](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._84).[[10]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTERakove327-10) Because Mason and Gerry had emerged as opponents of the proposed new Constitution, their motion—introduced five days before the end of the convention—may also have been seen by other delegates as a delaying tactic.[[11]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEStewart226-11) The quick rejection of this motion, however, later endangered the entire ratification process. Author [David O. Stewart](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_O._Stewart) characterizes the omission of a Bill of Rights in the original Constitution as “a political blunder of the first magnitude”[[11]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEStewart226-11) while historian [Jack N. Rakove](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_N._Rakove) calls it “the one serious miscalculation the framers made as they looked ahead to the struggle over ratification”.[[12]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTERakove288-12)

Thirty-nine delegates signed the finalized Constitution. Thirteen delegates left before it was completed, and three who remained at the convention until the end refused to sign it: Mason, Gerry, and [Edmund Randolph](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Randolph) of Virginia.[[13]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBeeman363-13) Afterward, the Constitution was presented to the Articles of Confederation Congress with the request that it afterwards be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people, for their assent and ratification.[[14]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-14)

### The Anti-Federalists

[![|200×242](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ea/Patrick_henry.JPG/200px-Patrick_henry.JPG)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Patrick_henry.JPG)

On June 5, 1788, [Patrick Henry](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Henry) spoke before [Virginia’s ratification convention](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Ratifying_Convention) in opposition to the Constitution.

Following the Philadelphia Convention, some leading revolutionary figures such as [Patrick Henry](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Henry), [Samuel Adams](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Adams), and [Richard Henry Lee](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Henry_Lee) publicly opposed the new frame of government, a position known as “Anti-Federalism”.[[15]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski20-15) Elbridge Gerry wrote the most popular Anti-Federalist tract, “Hon. Mr. Gerry’s Objections”, which went through 46 printings; the essay particularly focused on the lack of a bill of rights in the proposed constitution.[[16]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski63-16) Many were concerned that a strong national government was a threat to [individual rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individual_rights) and that the [president](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President) would become a [king](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch). Jefferson wrote to Madison advocating a Bill of Rights: “Half a loaf is better than no bread. If we cannot secure all our rights, let us secure what we can.”[[17]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-17) The pseudonymous Anti-Federalist “Brutus”[[a]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-19) wrote,

> We find they have, in the ninth section of the first article declared, that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in cases of rebellion—that no bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, shall be passed—that no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States, etc. If every thing which is not given is reserved, what propriety is there in these exceptions? Does this Constitution any where grant the power of suspending the habeas corpus, to make ex post facto laws, pass bills of attainder, or grant titles of nobility? It certainly does not in express terms. The only answer that can be given is, that these are implied in the general powers granted. With equal truth it may be said, that all the powers which the bills of rights guard against the abuse of, are contained or implied in the general ones granted by this Constitution.[[19]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Brutus376-20)

He continued with this observation:

> Ought not a government, vested with such extensive and indefinite authority, to have been restricted by a declaration of rights? It certainly ought. So clear a point is this, that I cannot help suspecting that persons who attempt to persuade people that such reservations were less necessary under this Constitution than under those of the States, are wilfully endeavoring to deceive, and to lead you into an absolute state of vassalage.[[20]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Brutus377-21)

### The Federalists

Supporters of the Constitution, known as Federalists, opposed a bill of rights for much of the ratification period, in part due to the procedural uncertainties it would create.[[21]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTERakove325-22) Madison argued against such an inclusion, suggesting that state governments were sufficient guarantors of personal liberty, in [No. 46](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._46) of *[The Federalist Papers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Federalist_Papers)* , a series of essays promoting the Federalist position.[[22]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski62-23) Hamilton opposed a bill of rights in *The [Federalist No. 84](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._84)* , stating that “the constitution is itself in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, a bill of rights.” He stated that ratification did not mean the American people were surrendering their rights, making protections unnecessary: “Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing, and as they retain everything, they have no need of particular reservations.” Patrick Henry criticized the Federalist point of view, writing that the legislature must be firmly informed “of the extent of the rights retained by the people … being in a state of uncertainty, they will assume rather than give up powers by implication.”[[23]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTERakove323-24) Other anti-Federalists pointed out that earlier political documents, in particular the [Magna Carta](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta), had protected specific rights. In response, Hamilton argued that the Constitution was inherently different:

> Bills of rights are in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was the Magna Charta, obtained by the Barons, swords in hand, from King John.[[24]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-25)

### Massachusetts compromise

Main article: [Massachusetts Compromise](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_Compromise)

[![|200×330](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/81/Letter_from_George_Washington_to_Lafayette_28_Apr_1788_photo.png/200px-Letter_from_George_Washington_to_Lafayette_28_Apr_1788_photo.png)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Letter_from_George_Washington_to_Lafayette_28_Apr_1788_photo.png)

George Washington’s 1788 letter to the [Marquis de Lafayette](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_du_Motier,_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](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Congress)

In December 1787 and January 1788, five states—Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut—ratified the Constitution with relative ease, though the bitter minority report of the Pennsylvania opposition was widely circulated.[[25]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski59–60-26) In contrast to its predecessors, the Massachusetts convention was angry and contentious, at one point erupting into a fistfight between Federalist delegate [Francis Dana](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Dana) and Anti-Federalist Elbridge Gerry when the latter was not allowed to speak.[[26]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBeeman388-27) The impasse was resolved only when revolutionary heroes and leading Anti-Federalists [Samuel Adams](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Adams) and [John Hancock](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hancock) agreed to ratification on the condition that the convention also propose amendments.[[27]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBeeman389–90-28) The convention’s proposed amendments included a requirement for [grand jury](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_jury) indictment in capital cases, which would form part of the [Fifth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution), and an amendment reserving powers to the states not expressly given to the federal government, which would later form the basis for the [Tenth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution).[[28]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBeeman390-29)

Following Massachusetts’ lead, the Federalist minorities in both Virginia and New York were able to obtain ratification in convention by linking ratification to recommended amendments.[[29]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMaier431-30) A committee of the Virginia convention headed by law professor [George Wythe](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wythe) forwarded forty recommended amendments to Congress, twenty of which enumerated individual rights and another twenty of which enumerated states’ rights.[[30]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-31) The latter amendments included limitations on federal powers to levy taxes and regulate trade.[[31]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBrookhiser80-32)

A minority of the Constitution’s critics, such as Maryland’s [Luther Martin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Martin), continued to oppose ratification.[[32]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMaier430-33) However, Martin’s allies, such as New York’s [John Lansing, Jr.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lansing,_Jr.), dropped moves to obstruct the Convention’s process. They began to take exception to the Constitution “as it was,” seeking amendments. Several conventions saw supporters for “amendments before” shift to a position of “amendments after” for the sake of staying in the Union. The New York Anti-Federalist “circular letter” was sent to each state legislature proposing a second constitutional convention for “amendments before”, but it failed in the state legislatures. Ultimately, only North Carolina and Rhode Island waited for amendments from Congress before ratifying.[[29]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMaier431-30)

[Article Seven](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Seven_of_the_United_States_Constitution) of the proposed Constitution set the terms by which the new frame of government would be established. The new Constitution would become operational when ratified by at least nine states. Only then would it replace the existing government under the Articles of Confederation and would apply only to those states that ratified it.

Following contentious battles in several states, the proposed Constitution reached that nine-state ratification plateau in June 1788. On September 13, 1788, the Articles of Confederation Congress certified that the new Constitution had been ratified by more than enough states for the new system to be implemented and directed the new government to meet in New York City on the first Wednesday in March the following year.[[33]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMaier429-34) On March 4, 1789, the new frame of [government](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_government_of_the_United_States) [came into force](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coming_into_force) with eleven of the thirteen states participating.

## Proposal and ratification

### Anticipating amendments

[![|200×243](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/James_Madison.jpg/200px-James_Madison.jpg)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Madison.jpg)

[James Madison](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison), primary author and chief advocate for the Bill of Rights in the First Congress

The [1st United States Congress](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_United_States_Congress), which met in New York City’s [Federal Hall](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Hall), was a triumph for the Federalists. The Senate of eleven states contained 20 Federalists with only two Anti-Federalists, both from Virginia. The House included 48 Federalists to 11 Anti-Federalists, the latter of whom were from only four states: Massachusetts, New York, Virginia and South Carolina.[[34]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEMaier433-35) Among the Virginia delegation to the House was James Madison, Patrick Henry’s chief opponent in the Virginia ratification battle. In retaliation for Madison’s victory in that battle at Virginia’s ratification convention, Henry and other Anti-Federalists, who controlled the [Virginia House of Delegates](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_House_of_Delegates), had [gerrymandered](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering) a hostile district for Madison’s planned congressional run and recruited Madison’s future presidential successor, [James Monroe](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Monroe), to oppose him.[[35]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBrookhiser76-36) Madison defeated Monroe after offering a campaign pledge that he would introduce constitutional amendments forming a bill of rights at the First Congress.[[36]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski159,_174-37)

Originally opposed to the inclusion of a bill of rights in the Constitution, Madison had gradually come to understand the importance of doing so during the often contentious ratification debates. By taking the initiative to propose amendments himself through the Congress, he hoped to preempt a second [constitutional convention](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_convention_(political_meeting)) that might, it was feared, undo the difficult compromises of 1787, and open the entire Constitution to reconsideration, thus risking the dissolution of the new federal government. Writing to Jefferson, he stated, “The friends of the Constitution, some from an approbation of particular amendments, others from a spirit of conciliation, are generally agreed that the System should be revised. But they wish the revisal to be carried no farther than to supply additional guards for liberty.”[[37]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski161-38) He also felt that amendments guaranteeing personal liberties would “give to the Government its due popularity and stability”.[[38]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski162-39) Finally, he hoped that the amendments “would acquire by degrees the character of fundamental maxims of free government, and as they become incorporated with the national sentiment, counteract the impulses of interest and passion”.[[39]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBrookhiser77-40) Historians continue to debate the degree to which Madison considered the amendments of the Bill of Rights necessary, and to what degree he considered them politically expedient; in the outline of his address, he wrote, “Bill of Rights—useful—not essential—”.[[40]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski192-41)

On the occasion of his April 30, 1789 [inauguration](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_inauguration_of_George_Washington) as the nation’s first [president](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_United_States), George Washington addressed the subject of amending the Constitution. He urged the legislators,

> whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an united and effective government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience; a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for public harmony, will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question, how far the former can be impregnably fortified or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted.[[41]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski188-42)[[42]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-43)

### Madison’s proposed amendments

James Madison introduced a series of Constitutional amendments in the House of Representatives for consideration. Among his proposals was one that would have added introductory language stressing natural rights to the preamble.[[43]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski198-44) Another would apply parts of the Bill of Rights to the states as well as the federal government. Several sought to protect individual personal rights by limiting various [Constitutional powers of Congress](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution). Like Washington, Madison urged Congress to keep the revision to the Constitution “a moderate one”, limited to protecting individual rights.[[43]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski198-44)

Madison was deeply read in the history of government and used a range of sources in composing the amendments. The English [Magna Carta](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta) of 1215 inspired the [right to petition](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_petition) and to [trial by jury](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_by_jury), for example, while the English [Bill of Rights of 1689](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_of_1689) provided an early precedent for the [right to keep and bear arms](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_keep_and_bear_arms) (although this applied only to [Protestants](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England)) and prohibited [cruel and unusual punishment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruel_and_unusual_punishment).[[31]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBrookhiser80-32)

The greatest influence on Madison’s text, however, was existing state constitutions.[[44]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski199-45)[[45]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Levy35-46) Many of his amendments, including his proposed new preamble, were based on the [Virginia Declaration of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Declaration_of_Rights) drafted by Anti-Federalist George Mason in 1776.[[46]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-47) To reduce future opposition to ratification, Madison also looked for recommendations shared by many states.[[45]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Levy35-46) He did provide one, however, that no state had requested: “No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases.”[[47]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEEllis210-48) He did not include an amendment that every state had asked for, one that would have made tax assessments voluntary instead of contributions.[[48]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEEllis212-49) Madison’s proposed the following constitutional amendments:

> First. That there be prefixed to the Constitution a declaration, that all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people.
> That Government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
> That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its institution.
>
>
>
> Secondly. That in article 1st, section 2, clause 3, these words be struck out, to wit: “The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative, and until such enumeration shall be made;” and in place thereof be inserted these words, to wit: “After the first actual enumeration, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number amounts to—, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that the number shall never be less than—, nor more than—, but each State shall, after the first enumeration, have at least two Representatives; and prior thereto.”
>
>
>
> Thirdly. That in article 1st, section 6, clause 1, there be added to the end of the first sentence, these words, to wit: “But no law varying the compensation last ascertained shall operate before the next ensuing election of Representatives.”
>
>
>
> Fourthly. That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.
> The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.
> The people shall not be restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good; nor from applying to the legislature by petitions, or remonstrances for redress of their grievances.
> The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
> No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor at any time, but in a manner warranted by law.
> No person shall be subject, except in cases of impeachment, to more than one punishment, or one trial for the same offence; nor shall be compelled to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor be obliged to relinquish his property, where it may be necessary for public use, without a just compensation.
> Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
> The rights of the people to be secured in their persons, their houses, their papers, and their other property, from all unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated by warrants issued without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, or not particularly describing the places to be searched, or the persons or things to be seized.
> In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the cause and nature of the accusation, to be confronted with his accusers, and the witnesses against him; to have a compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.
> The exceptions here or elsewhere in the Constitution, made in favor of particular rights, shall not be so construed as to diminish the just importance of other rights retained by the people, or as to enlarge the powers delegated by the Constitution; but either as actual limitations of such powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.
>
>
>
> Fifthly. That in article 1st, section 10, between clauses 1 and 2, be inserted this clause, to wit: No State shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases.
>
>
>
> Sixthly. That, in article 3d, section 2, be annexed to the end of clause 2d, these words, to wit: But no appeal to such court shall be allowed where the value in controversy shall not amount to — dollars: nor shall any fact triable by jury, according to the course of common law, be otherwise re-examinable than may consist with the principles of common law.
>
>
>
> Seventhly. That in article 3d, section 2, the third clause be struck out, and in its place be inserted the clauses following, to wit: The trial of all crimes (except in cases of impeachments, and cases arising in the land or naval forces, or the militia when on actual service, in time of war or public danger) shall be by an impartial jury of freeholders of the vicinage, with the requisite of unanimity for conviction, of the right with the requisite of unanimity for conviction, of the right of challenge, and other accustomed requisites; and in all crimes punishable with loss of life or member, presentment or indictment by a grand jury shall be an essential preliminary, provided that in cases of crimes committed within any county which may be in possession of an enemy, or in which a general insurrection may prevail, the trial may by law be authorized in some other county of the same State, as near as may be to the seat of the offence.
> In cases of crimes committed not within any county, the trial may by law be in such county as the laws shall have prescribed. In suits at common law, between man and man, the trial by jury, as one of the best securities to the rights of the people, ought to remain inviolate.
>
>
>
> Eighthly. That immediately after article 6th, be inserted, as article 7th, the clauses following, to wit: The powers delegated by this Constitution are appropriated to the departments to which they are respectively distributed: so that the Legislative Department shall never exercise the powers vested in the Executive or Judicial, nor the Executive exercise the powers vested in the Legislative or Judicial, nor the Judicial exercise the powers vested in the Legislative or Executive Departments.
> The powers not delegated by this Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively.
>
>
>
> Ninthly. That article 7th, be numbered as article 8th.[[49]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-50)

### Crafting amendments

Federalist representatives were quick to attack Madison’s proposal, fearing that any move to amend the new Constitution so soon after its implementation would create an appearance of instability in the government.[[50]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski203–205-51) The House, unlike the Senate, was open to the public, and members such as [Fisher Ames](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher_Ames) warned that a prolonged “dissection of the constitution” before the galleries could shake public confidence.[[51]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski215-52) A procedural battle followed, and after initially forwarding the amendments to a select committee for revision, the House agreed to take Madison’s proposal up as a full body beginning on July 21, 1789.[[52]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski201-53)[[53]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBrookhiser81-54)

The eleven-member committee made some significant changes to Madison’s nine proposed amendments, including eliminating most of his preamble and adding the phrase “freedom of speech, and of the press”.[[54]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski217-55) The House debated the amendments for eleven days. [Roger Sherman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Sherman) of Connecticut persuaded the House to place the amendments at the Constitution’s end so that the document would “remain inviolate”, rather than adding them throughout, as Madison had proposed.[[55]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski218–220-56)[[56]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEEllis207-57) The amendments, revised and condensed from twenty to seventeen, were approved and forwarded to the Senate on August 24, 1789.[[57]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski235-58)

The Senate edited these amendments still further, making 26 changes of its own. Madison’s proposal to apply parts of the Bill of Rights to the states as well as the federal government was eliminated, and the seventeen amendments were condensed to twelve, which were approved on September 9, 1789.[[58]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski237-59) The Senate also eliminated the last of Madison’s proposed changes to the preamble.[[59]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski221-60)

On September 21, 1789, a House–Senate [Conference Committee](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_congressional_conference_committee) convened to resolve the numerous differences between the two Bill of Rights proposals. On September 24, 1789, the committee issued this report, which finalized 12 Constitutional Amendments for House and Senate to consider. This final version was approved by [joint resolution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_resolution) of Congress on September 25, 1789, to be forwarded to the states on September 28.[[60]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-adamson2008p93-61)[[61]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-62)

By the time the debates and legislative maneuvering that went into crafting the Bill of Rights amendments was done, many personal opinions had shifted. A number of Federalists came out in support, thus silencing the Anti-Federalists’ most effective critique. Many Anti-Federalists, in contrast, were now opposed, realizing that Congressional approval of these amendments would greatly lessen the chances of a second constitutional convention.[[62]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWood71-63) Anti-Federalists such as Richard Henry Lee also argued that the Bill left the most objectionable portions of the Constitution, such as the federal judiciary and direct taxation, intact.[[63]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Levy-64)

Madison remained active in the progress of the amendments throughout the legislative process. Historian [Gordon S. Wood](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_S._Wood) writes that “there is no question that it was Madison’s personal prestige and his dogged persistence that saw the amendments through the Congress. There might have been a federal Constitution without Madison but certainly no Bill of Rights.”[[64]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWood69-65)[[65]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEEllis206-66)

Approval of the Bill of Rights in Congress and the States[[66]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-67)
Seventeen Articles
Approved by the House
August 24, 1789 Twelve Articles
Approved by the Senate
September 9, 1789 Twelve Articles
Approved by Congress
September 25, 1789 Ratification
Status
**First Article:**
After the first enumeration, required by the first Article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons. **First Article:**
After the first enumeration, required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred; to which number one Representative shall be added for every subsequent increase of forty thousand, until the Representatives shall amount to two hundred, to which number one Representative shall be added for every subsequent increase of sixty thousand persons. **First Article:**
After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons. **Pending:**
[Congressional Apportionment Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Apportionment_Amendment)
**Second Article:**
No law varying the compensation to the members of Congress, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened. **Second Article:**
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened. **Second Article:**
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened. **Ratified:**
May 5, 1992[[3]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-EB-3)
[Twenty-seventh Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Third Article:**
Congress shall make no law establishing religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of Conscience be infringed. **Third Article:**
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. **Third Article:**
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[First Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Fourth Article:**
The Freedom of Speech, and of the Press, and the right of the People peaceably to assemble, and consult for their common good, and to apply to the Government for a redress of grievances, shall not be infringed. *(see Third Article above)*
**Fifth Article:**
A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the People, being the best security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person. **Fourth Article:**
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. **Fourth Article:**
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Second Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Sixth Article:**
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. **Fifth Article:**
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. **Fifth Article:**
No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Third Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Seventh Article:**
The right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. **Sixth Article:**
The right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. **Sixth Article:**
The right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Fourth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Eighth Article:**
No person shall be subject, except in case of impeachment, to more than one trial, or one punishment for the same offense, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. **Seventh Article:**
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case, to be a witnesses against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. **Seventh Article:**
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Fifth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Ninth Article:**
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence. **Eighth Article:**
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence. **Eighth Article:**
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Sixth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Tenth Article:**
The trial of all crimes (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of War or public danger) shall be by an Impartial Jury of the Vicinage, with the requisite of unanimity for conviction, the right of challenge, and other accostomed [sic] requisites; and no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherways [sic] infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment by a Grand Jury; but if a crime be committed in a place in the possession of an enemy, or in which an insurrection may prevail, the indictment and trial may by law be authorised in some other place within the same State. *(see Seventh Article above)*
**Eleventh Article:**
No appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, shall be allowed, where the value in controversy shall not amount to one thousand dollars, nor shall any fact, triable by a Jury according to the course of the common law, be otherwise re-examinable, than according to the rules of common law. **Ninth Article:**
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by Jury shall be preserved, and no fact, tried by a Jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. **Ninth Article:**
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by Jury shall be preserved, and no fact, tried by a Jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Seventh Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Twelfth Article:**
In suits at common law, the right of trial by Jury shall be preserved. *(see Ninth Article above)*
**Thirteenth Article:**
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. **Tenth Article:**
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. **Tenth Article:**
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Eighth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Fourteenth Article:**
No State shall infringe the right of trial by Jury in criminal cases, nor the rights of conscience, nor the freedom of speech, or of the press.
**Fifteenth Article:**
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. **Eleventh Article:**
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. **Eleventh Article:**
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Ninth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)
**Sixteenth Article:**
The powers delegated by the Constitution to the government of the United States, shall be exercised as therein appropriated, so that the Legislative shall never exercise the powers vested in the Executive or Judicial; nor the Executive the powers vested in the Legislative or Judicial; nor the Judicial the powers vested in the Legislative or Executive.
**Seventeenth Article:**
The powers not delegated by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it, to the States, are reserved to the States respectively. **Twelfth Article:**
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. **Twelfth Article:**
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. **Ratified:**
December 15, 1791
[Tenth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

### Ratification process

The twelve articles of amendment approved by congress were officially submitted to the Legislatures of the several States for consideration on September 28, 1789. The following states [ratified](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Ratification_of_amendments) some or all of the amendments:[[67]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-68)[[68]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-69)[[69]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-70)

1. [New Jersey](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey): Articles One and Three through Twelve on November 20, 1789, and Article Two on May 7, 1992
2. [Maryland](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland): Articles One through Twelve on December 19, 1789
3. [North Carolina](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina): Articles One through Twelve on December 22, 1789
4. [South Carolina](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Carolina): Articles One through Twelve on January 19, 1790
5. [New Hampshire](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire): Articles One and Three through Twelve on January 25, 1790, and Article Two on March 7, 1985
6. [Delaware](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delaware): Articles Two through Twelve on January 28, 1790
7. [New York](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_(state)): Articles One and Three through Twelve on February 24, 1790
8. [Pennsylvania](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania): Articles Three through Twelve on March 10, 1790, and Article One on September 21, 1791
9. [Rhode Island](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhode_Island): Articles One and Three through Twelve on June 7, 1790, and Article Two on June 10, 1993
10. [Vermont](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont): Articles One through Twelve on November 3, 1791
11. [Virginia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia): Article One on November 3, 1791, and Articles Two through Twelve on December 15, 1791[[70]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-71)
(After failing to ratify the 12 amendments during the 1789 legislative session.)

Having been approved by the requisite three-fourths of the several states, there being 14 States in the Union at the time (as Vermont had been admitted into the Union on March 4, 1791),[[63]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Levy-64) the ratification of Articles Three through Twelve was completed and they became Amendments 1 through 10 of the Constitution. President Washington informed Congress of this on January 18, 1792.[[71]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-72)

As they had not yet been approved by 11 of the 14 states, the ratification of Article One (ratified by 10) and Article Two (ratified by 6) remained incomplete. The ratification plateau they needed to reach soon rose to 12 of 15 states when [Kentucky](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky) joined the Union (June 1, 1792). On June 27, 1792, the [Kentucky General Assembly](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_General_Assembly) ratified all 12 amendments, however this action did not come to light until 1996.[[72]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEKyvig464–467-73)

[Article One](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Apportionment_Amendment) came within one state of the number needed to become adopted into the Constitution on two occasions between 1789 and 1803. Despite coming close to ratification early on, it has never received the approval of enough states to become part of the Constitution.[[64]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWood69-65) As Congress did not attach a ratification time limit to the article, it is still technically pending before the states. Since no state has approved it since 1792, ratification by an additional 27 states would now be necessary for the article to be [adopted](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coming_into_force).

Article Two, initially ratified by seven states through 1792 (including Kentucky), was not ratified by another state for eighty years. The [Ohio General Assembly](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_General_Assembly) ratified it on May 6, 1873 in protest of an unpopular [Congressional pay raise](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salary_Grab_Act).[[73]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-dean-74) A century later, on March 6, 1978, the [Wyoming Legislature](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_Legislature) also ratified the article.[[74]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-75) Gregory Watson, a [University of Texas at Austin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Texas_at_Austin) undergraduate student, started a new push for the article’s ratification with a letter-writing campaign to state legislatures.[[73]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-dean-74) As a result, by May 1992, enough states had approved Article Two (38 of the 50 states in the Union) for it to become the [Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution). The amendment’s adoption was certified by [Archivist of the United States](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivist_of_the_United_States) [Don W. Wilson](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_W._Wilson) and subsequently affirmed by a vote of Congress on May 20, 1992.[[75]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-76)

Three states did not complete action on the twelve articles of amendment when they were initially put before the states. [Georgia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_(U.S._state)) found a Bill of Rights unnecessary and so refused to ratify. Both chambers of the [Massachusetts General Court](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_General_Court) ratified a number of the amendments (the Senate adopted 10 of 12 and the House 9 of 12), but failed to reconcile their two lists or to send official notice to the Secretary of State of the ones they did agree upon.[[76]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-77)[[63]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Levy-64) Both houses of the [Connecticut General Assembly](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut_General_Assembly) voted to ratify Articles Three through Twelve but failed to reconcile their bills after disagreeing over whether to ratify Articles One and Two.[[77]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEKyvig108-78) All three later ratified the Constitutional amendments originally known as Articles Three through Twelve as part of the 1939 commemoration of the Bill of Rights’ sesquicentennial: [Massachusetts](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts) on March 2, Georgia on March 18, and Connecticut on April 19.[[63]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Levy-64) Connecticut and Georgia would also later ratify Article Two, on May 13, 1987 and February 2, 1988 respectively.

## Application and text

The Bill of Rights had little judicial impact for the first 150 years of its existence; in the words of [Gordon S. Wood](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_S._Wood), “After ratification, most Americans promptly forgot about the first ten amendments to the Constitution.”[[78]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEWood72-79)[[79]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-80) The Court made no important decisions protecting free speech rights, for example, until 1931.[[80]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski258-81) Historian [Richard Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Labunski) attributes the Bill’s long legal dormancy to three factors: first, it took time for a “culture of tolerance” to develop that would support the Bill’s provisions with judicial and popular will; second, the Supreme Court spent much of the 19th century focused on issues relating to intergovernmental balances of power; and third, the Bill initially only applied to the federal government, a restriction affirmed by *[Barron v. Baltimore](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barron_v._Baltimore)* (1833).[[81]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski258–259-82)[[82]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-83)[[83]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-84) In the twentieth century, however, most of the Bill’s provisions were applied to the states via the [Fourteenth Amendment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)—a process known as [incorporation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Rights)—beginning with the freedom of speech clause, in *[Gitlow v. New York](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gitlow_v._New_York)* (1925).[[84]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTELabunski259-85) In *[Talton v. Mayes](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talton_v._Mayes)* (1896), the Court ruled that Constitutional protections, including the provisions of the Bill of Rights, do not apply to the actions of American Indian tribal governments.[[85]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-86) Through the incorporation process the United States Supreme Court succeeded in extending to the [States](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state) almost all of the protections in the Bill of Rights, as well as other, unenumerated rights.[[86]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-87) The Bill of Rights thus imposes legal limits on the powers of governments and acts as an anti-majoritarian/minoritarian safeguard by providing deeply entrenched legal protection for various civil liberties and fundamental rights.[[87]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Jowell&Cooper2001-88)[[88]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Loveland2015-89)[[89]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Jayawickrama2002-90) The Supreme Court for example concluded in the *[West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_State_Board_of_Education_v._Barnette)* (1943) case that the founders intended the Bill of Rights to put some rights out of reach from majorities, ensuring that some liberties would endure beyond political majorities.[[87]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Jowell&Cooper2001-88)[[88]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Loveland2015-89)[[89]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Jayawickrama2002-90)[[90]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Jackson1943-91) As the Court noted, the idea of the Bill of Rights “was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.”[[90]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Jackson1943-91)[[91]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Obergefell2015-92) This is why “fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”[[90]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Jackson1943-91)[[91]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Obergefell2015-92)

### First Amendment

Main article: [First Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The First Amendment prohibits the making of any law [respecting an establishment of religion](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Establishment_Clause), impeding the [free exercise of religion](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Exercise_Clause), abridging the [freedom of speech](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech_in_the_United_States), infringing on the [freedom of the press](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_the_press_in_the_United_States), interfering with the [right to peaceably assemble](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_assembly) or prohibiting the [petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_petition). Initially, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by Congress, and many of its provisions were interpreted more narrowly than they are today.[[93]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Cox-94)

In *[Everson v. Board of Education](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everson_v._Board_of_Education)* (1947), the Court drew on Thomas Jefferson’s correspondence to call for “a wall of separation between church and State”, though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute.[[93]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Cox-94) Speech rights were expanded significantly in a series of 20th- and 21st-century court decisions that protected various forms of political speech, anonymous speech, campaign financing, pornography, and school speech; these rulings also defined a series of [exceptions to First Amendment protections](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions). The Supreme Court overturned [English common law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_common_law) precedent to increase the burden of proof for [libel](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libel) suits, most notably in *[New York Times Co. v. Sullivan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times_Co._v._Sullivan)* (1964).[[94]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-95) Commercial speech is less protected by the First Amendment than political speech, and is therefore subject to greater regulation.[[93]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Cox-94)

The Free Press Clause protects publication of information and opinions, and applies to a wide variety of media. In *[Near v. Minnesota](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_v._Minnesota)* (1931)[[95]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-96) and *[New York Times v. United States](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times_v._United_States)* (1971),[[96]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-97) the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected against [prior restraint](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prior_restraint)—pre-publication censorship—in almost all cases. The Petition Clause protects the right to petition all branches and agencies of government for action. In addition to the right of assembly guaranteed by this clause, the Court has also ruled that the amendment implicitly protects [freedom of association](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_association).[[93]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Cox-94)

### Second Amendment

Main article: [Second Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Second Amendment protects the individual [right to keep and bear arms](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_keep_and_bear_arms). The concept of such a right existed within English [common law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law) long before the enactment of the Bill of Rights.[[97]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-98) First codified in the English [Bill of Rights of 1689](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_of_1689) (but there only applying to [Protestants](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England)), this right was enshrined in fundamental laws of several American states during the Revolutionary era, including the 1776 [Virginia Declaration of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Declaration_of_Rights) and the [Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Constitution_of_1776). Long a [controversial issue](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_States) in American political, legal, and social discourse, the Second Amendment has been at the heart of several Supreme Court decisions.

* In *[United States v. Cruikshank](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Cruikshank)* (1875), the Court ruled that “[t]he right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendment means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government.”[[98]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-99)
* In *[United States v. Miller](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Miller)* (1939), the Court ruled that the amendment “[protects arms that had a] reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”.[[99]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-100)
* In *[District of Columbia v. Heller](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller)* (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment “codified a pre-existing right” and that it “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home” but also stated that “the right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose”.[[100]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Heller-101)
* In *[McDonald v. Chicago](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald_v._Chicago)* (2010),[[101]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-102) the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.[[102]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-nytimes.com-103)

### Third Amendment

Main article: [Third Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Third Amendment restricts the quartering of soldiers in private homes, in response to [Quartering Acts](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartering_Acts) passed by the British parliament during the Revolutionary War. The amendment is one of the least controversial of the Constitution, and, as of 2018, has never been the primary basis of a Supreme Court decision.[[103]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-104)[[104]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-105)[[105]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-106)

### Fourth Amendment

Main article: [Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable [searches and seizures](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_and_seizure), along with requiring any [warrant](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrant_(law)) to be judicially sanctioned and supported by [probable cause](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probable_cause). It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the [writ of assistance](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writ_of_assistance), which is a type of general [search warrant](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_warrant), in the American Revolution. Search and seizure (including arrest) must be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer who has [sworn by it](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affidavit). The amendment is the basis for the [exclusionary rule](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusionary_rule), which mandates that evidence obtained illegally cannot be introduced into a criminal trial.[[106]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-107) The amendment’s interpretation has varied over time; its protections expanded under left-leaning courts such as that headed by [Earl Warren](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Warren) and contracted under right-leaning courts such as that of [William Rehnquist](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rehnquist).[[107]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-108)

### Fifth Amendment

Main article: [Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a [Grand Jury](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Jury), except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Fifth Amendment protects against [double jeopardy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_jeopardy) and [self-incrimination](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-incrimination) and guarantees the rights to [due process](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Due_process), [grand jury](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_jury) screening of criminal indictments, and compensation for the seizure of private property under [eminent domain](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain). The amendment was the basis for the court’s decision in *[Miranda v. Arizona](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_v._Arizona)* (1966), which established that defendants must be informed of their rights to an attorney and against self-incrimination prior to interrogation by police.[[108]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-109)

### Sixth Amendment

Main article: [Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Sixth Amendment establishes a number of rights of the defendant in a criminal trial:

* to a [speedy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedy_Trial_Clause) and [public trial](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_trial)
* to [trial by an impartial jury](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_by_jury)
* to be informed of criminal charges
* to [confront witnesses](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confrontation_Clause)
* to compel witnesses to appear in court
* to [assistance of counsel](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_counsel)[[109]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Sixth-110)

In *[Gideon v. Wainwright](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_v._Wainwright)* (1963), the Court ruled that the amendment guaranteed the right to legal representation in all felony prosecutions in both state and federal courts.[[109]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Sixth-110)

### Seventh Amendment

Main article: [Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Seventh Amendment guarantees jury trials in federal civil cases that deal with claims of more than twenty dollars. It also prohibits judges from overruling findings of fact by juries in federal civil trials. In *[Colgrove v. Battin](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgrove_v._Battin)* (1973), the Court ruled that the amendment’s requirements could be fulfilled by a jury with a minimum of six members. The Seventh is one of the few parts of the Bill of Rights not to be incorporated (applied to the states).[[110]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-111)

### Eighth Amendment

Main article: [Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Eighth Amendment forbids the imposition of excessive bails or fines, though it leaves the term “excessive” open to interpretation.[[111]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-FOOTNOTEBessler194-112) The most frequently litigated clause of the amendment is the last, which forbids [cruel and unusual punishment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruel_and_unusual_punishment).[[112]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Krantz-113)[[113]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-UXL8-114) This clause was only occasionally applied by the Supreme Court prior to the 1970s, generally in cases dealing with means of execution. In *[Furman v. Georgia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furman_v._Georgia)* (1972), some members of the Court found [capital punishment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment) itself in violation of the amendment, arguing that the clause could reflect “evolving standards of decency” as public opinion changed; others found certain practices in capital trials to be unacceptably arbitrary, resulting in a majority decision that effectively halted executions in the United States for several years.[[114]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Weisberg-115) Executions resumed following *[Gregg v. Georgia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregg_v._Georgia)* (1976), which found capital punishment to be constitutional if the jury was directed by concrete sentencing guidelines.[[114]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Weisberg-115) The Court has also found that some poor prison conditions constitute cruel and unusual punishment, as in *[Estelle v. Gamble](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estelle_v._Gamble)* (1976) and *[Brown v. Plata](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Plata)* (2011).[[112]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Krantz-113)

### Ninth Amendment

Main article: [Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Ninth Amendment declares that there are additional fundamental rights that exist outside the Constitution. The rights enumerated in the Constitution are not an [explicit and exhaustive](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enumerative_definition) list of individual rights. It was rarely mentioned in Supreme Court decisions before the second half of the 20th century, when it was cited by several of the justices in *[Griswold v. Connecticut](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griswold_v._Connecticut)* (1965). The Court in that case voided a statute prohibiting use of contraceptives as an infringement of the [right of marital privacy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_privacy).[[115]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-116) This right was, in turn, the foundation upon which the Supreme Court built decisions in several landmark cases, including, *[Roe v. Wade](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade)* (1973), which overturned a Texas law making it a crime to assist a woman to get an abortion, and *[Planned Parenthood v. Casey](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_Parenthood_v._Casey)* (1992), which invalidated a Pennsylvania law that required spousal awareness prior to obtaining an abortion.

### Tenth Amendment

Main article: [Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution)

> The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.[[92]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-Transcript-93)

The Tenth Amendment reinforces the principles of [separation of powers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers) and [federalism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalism) by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people. The amendment provides no new powers or rights to the states, but rather preserves their authority in all matters not specifically granted to the federal government.[[116]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-117)

Congress has sometimes gotten around the Tenth Amendment by invoking the [Commerce Clause](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause) in Article One[[117]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-118) or by threatening to withhold funding for a federal program from noncooperative States, as in *[South Dakota v. Dole](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota_v._Dole)* (1987).

## Display and honoring of the Bill of Rights

George Washington had fourteen handwritten copies of the Bill of Rights made, one for Congress and one for each of the original thirteen states.[[118]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-bill_of_rights-cnn-119) The copies for Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania went missing.[[119]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-120) The New York copy is thought to have been destroyed in a fire.[[120]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-bill_of_rights-new_york-121) Two unidentified copies of the missing four (thought to be the Georgia and Maryland copies) survive; one is in the National Archives, and the other is in the [New York Public Library](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Public_Library).[[121]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-bill-loc-122)[[122]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-123) North Carolina’s copy was stolen from the State Capitol by a Union soldier following the Civil War. In an FBI sting operation, it was recovered in 2003.[[123]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-124)[[124]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-bill_of_rights-north_carolina_stolen_copy-125) The copy retained by the First Congress has been on display (along with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence) in the *Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom* room at the [National Archives Building](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Archives_Building) in Washington, D.C. since December 13, 1952.[[125]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-126)

After fifty years on display, signs of deterioration in the casing were noted, while the documents themselves appeared to be well preserved.[[126]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-127) Accordingly, the casing was updated and the Rotunda rededicated on September 17, 2003. In his dedicatory remarks, President [George W. Bush](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush) stated, “The true [American] revolution was not to defy one earthly power, but to declare principles that stand above every earthly power—the equality of each person before God, and the responsibility of government to secure the rights of all.”[[127]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-128)

In 1941, President [Franklin D. Roosevelt](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt) declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.[[128]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-129) In 1991, the Virginia copy of the Bill of Rights toured the country in honor of its bicentennial, visiting the capitals of all fifty states.[[129]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-130)

## See also

* ![flag|32×17](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a4/Flag_of_the_United_States.svg/32px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png)[United States portal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:United_States)
* ![|32×28](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9a/Johnny-automatic-scales-of-justice.svg/32px-Johnny-automatic-scales-of-justice.svg.png)[Law portal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Law)
* ![|27×28](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d3/HumanRightsLogo.svg/27px-HumanRightsLogo.svg.png)[Human rights portal](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Human_rights)

* [Anti-Federalism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Federalism)
* [Constitutionalism in the United States](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutionalism_in_the_United_States)
* [Four Freedoms](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Freedoms)
* [Institute of Bill of Rights Law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Bill_of_Rights_Law)
* [Patients’ [bill of] rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patients%27_rights)
* [Second Bill of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights)
* [Substantive due process](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substantive_due_process)
* [Taxpayer Bill of Rights](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxpayer_Bill_of_Rights)
* [Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Statute_for_Religious_Freedom)
* *[We Hold These Truths](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Hold_These_Truths)*

## References

Notes

1. Probably [Robert Yates](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Yates_(politician))[[18]](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#cite_note-18)

Citations

* [“The Charters of Freedom: The Bill of Rights”](https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html). Washington D.C.: [National Archives and Records Administration](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Archives_and_Records_Administration). Retrieved October 4, 2015.
* James Madison’s Proposed Amendments to the Constitution. Annals of Congress. June 8, 1789. https://www.archives.gov/legislative/resources/education/bill-of-rights/images/handout-2.pdf
* [ *The U.S. Constitution and Constitutional Law* ](https://books.google.com/?id=qdmbAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=%22may+5,+1992%22+%22twenty-seventh+amendment%22#v=onepage&q=%22may%205,%201992%22%20%22twenty-seventh%20amendment%22&f=false). Britannica Educational Publishing. 2012. pp. 105–08. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [9781615307555](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9781615307555) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* [“Bill of Rights – Facts & Summary”](http://www.history.com/topics/bill-of-rights). *History.com* . Retrieved December 8, 2015.
* Lloyd, Gordon. [“Introduction to the Constitutional Convention”](http://teachingamericanhistory.org/convention/intro/). Teaching American History. Retrieved October 6, 2007.
* [Stewart](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFStewart), p. 47.
* [Beeman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBeeman), p. 59.
* [Beeman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBeeman), p. 341.
* [Beeman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBeeman), p. 343.
* [Rakove](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFRakove), p. 327.
* [Stewart](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFStewart), p. 226.
* [Rakove](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFRakove), p. 288.
* [Beeman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBeeman), p. 363.
* [“Federal Convention, Resolution and Letter to the Continental Congress”](http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch6s11.html). *The Founders’ Constitution* . The University of Chicago Press. p. 195, Volume 1, Chapter 6, Document 11. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 20.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 63.
* [“Jefferson’s letter to Madison, March 15, 1789”](http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/print_documents/v1ch14s49.html). The Founders’ Constitution. Retrieved March 9, 2006.
* Hamilton et al., p. 436
* Brutus, p. 376
* Brutus, p. 377
* [Rakove](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFRakove), p. 325.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 62.
* [Rakove](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFRakove), p. 323.
* [“On opposition to a Bill of Rights”](http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/bill_of_rightss7.html). The Founders’ Constitution. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved February 28, 2006.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), pp. 59–60.
* [Beeman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBeeman), p. 388.
* [Beeman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBeeman), pp. 389–90.
* [Beeman](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBeeman), p. 390.
* [Maier](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFMaier), p. 431.
* Labunksi, pp. 113–15
* [Brookhiser](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBrookhiser), p. 80.
* [Maier](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFMaier), p. 430.
* [Maier](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFMaier), p. 429.
* [Maier](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFMaier), p. 433.
* [Brookhiser](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBrookhiser), p. 76.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), pp. 159, 174.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 161.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 162.
* [Brookhiser](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBrookhiser), p. 77.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 192.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 188.
* Gordon Lloyd. [“Anticipating the Bill of Rights in the First Congress”](http://teachingamericanhistory.org/bor/anticipating-bor/). *TeachingAmericanHistory.org* . Ashland, Ohio: The Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 198.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 199.
* Madison introduced “amendments culled mainly from state constitutions and state ratifying convention proposals, especially Virginia’s.” Levy, p. 35
* [Virginia Declaration of Rights](https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/mason.html). Library of Congress. Accessed July 12, 2013.
* [Ellis](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFEllis), p. 210.
* [Ellis](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFEllis), p. 212.
* Lloyd, Gordon Lloyd. [“Madison’s Speech Proposing Amendments to the Constitution: June 8, 1789”](http://teachingamericanhistory.org/bor/madison_17890608/). *50 Core Documents That Tell America’s Story, teachingamericanhistory.org* . Ashland, Ohio: Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), pp. 203–205.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 215.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 201.
* [Brookhiser](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBrookhiser), p. 81.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 217.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), pp. 218–220.
* [Ellis](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFEllis), p. 207.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 235.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 237.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 221.
* Adamson, Barry (2008). [ *Freedom of Religion, the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court: How the Court Flunked History* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=Tgw-rCrNYacC&pg=PA93). Pelican Publishing. p. 93. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [9781455604586](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9781455604586) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* Graham, John Remington (2009). [ *Free, Sovereign, and Independent States: The Intended Meaning of the American Constitution* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=7fOeMT99m44C&pg=PA193). Foreword by Laura Tesh. Footnote 54, pp. 193–94. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [9781455604579](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9781455604579) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* [Wood](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFWood), p. 71.
* Levy, Leonard W. (1986). [“Bill of Rights (United States)”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425000220.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 16, 2013.
* [Wood](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFWood), p. 69.
* [Ellis](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFEllis), p. 206.
* Gordon Lloyd. [“The Four Stages of Approval of the Bill of Rights in Congress and the States”](http://teachingamericanhistory.org/bor/four-stages/). *TeachingAmericanHistory.org* . Ashland, Ohio: The Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
* [“The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Centennial Edition, Interim Edition: Analysis of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 26, 2013”](http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CONAN-2013/pdf/GPO-CONAN-2013.pdf) (PDF). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. 2013. p. 25. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
* James J. Kilpatrick, ed. (1961). *The Constitution of the United States and Amendments Thereto* . Virginia Commission on Constitutional Government. p. 64.
* Wonning, Paul R. (2012). [ *A Short History of the United States Constitution: The Story of the Constitution the Bill of Rights and the Amendments* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=BBMSBAAAQBAJ). Mossy Feet Books. pp. 27–28. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [9781310451584](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9781310451584) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* [“Ratifications of the Amendments to the Constitution of the United States | Teaching American History”](http://teachingamericanhistory.org/bor/ratification_of_amendments2/). *teachingamericanhistory.org* . Retrieved September 10, 2016.
* [“Founders Online: From George Washington to the United States Senate and House o …”](https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-09-02-0278). Retrieved 2018-03-12.
* [Kyvig](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFKyvig), pp. 464–467.
* [Dean, John W.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dean) (September 27, 2002). [“The Telling Tale of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment”](http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20020927.html). [FindLaw](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FindLaw). Retrieved June 23, 2014.
* [Bernstein, Richard B.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_B._Bernstein) (1992). [“The Sleeper Wakes: The History and Legacy of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment”](http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3017&context=flr). *[Fordham Law Review](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fordham_Law_Review)* . **61** (3): 537. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
* Bernstein, Richard B. (2000). [“Twenty-Seventh Amendment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425002577.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 16, 2013.
* Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Hogan, Margaret A. [“The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, Digital Edition”](http://csac.history.wisc.edu/mass_chronology.pdf) (PDF). Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.
* [Kyvig](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFKyvig), p. 108.
* [Wood](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFWood), p. 72.
* [“The Bill Of Rights: A Brief History”](https://www.aclu.org/bill-rights-brief-history). ACLU. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 258.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), pp. 258–259.
* [“Barron v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore – 32 U.S. 243 (1833)”](http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/32/243/case.html). Justia.com. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
* Levy, Leonard W. (January 1, 2000). [“BARRON v. CITY OF BALTIMORE 7 Peters 243 (1833)”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425000188.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 11, 2013.
* [Labunski](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFLabunski), p. 259.
* Deloria, Vine Jr. (2000). [“American Indians and the Constitution”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425000094.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 16, 2013.
* [“Primary Documents in American History”](https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/14thamendment.html), Library of Congress
* Jeffrey Jowell and Jonathan Cooper (2002). [ *Understanding Human Rights Principles* ](https://books.google.com/?id=gtzbBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA180&dq=West+Virginia+State+Board+of+Education+v.+Barnette+The+very+purpose+of+a+Bill+of+Rights+was+to+withdraw+certain+subjects+from+the+vicissitudes+of+political+controversy#v=onepage&q=West%20Virginia%20State%20Board%20of%20Education%20v.%20Barnette%20The%20very%20purpose%20of%20a%20Bill%20of%20Rights%20was%20to%20withdraw%20certain%20subjects%20from%20the%20vicissitudes%20of%20political%20controversy&f=false). Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing. p. 180. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [9781847313157](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9781847313157). Retrieved 16 March 2017.
* Loveland, Ian (2002). “Chapter 18 – Human Rights I: Traditional Perspectives”. [ *Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights: A Critical Introduction* ](https://books.google.com/?id=y7S6BwAAQBAJ&pg=PA559&dq=West+Virginia+State+Board+of+Education+v.+Barnette+The+very+purpose+of+a+Bill+of+Rights+was+to+withdraw+certain+subjects+from+the+vicissitudes+of+political+controversy#v=onepage&q=West%20Virginia%20State%20Board%20of%20Education%20v.%20Barnette%20The%20very%20purpose%20of%20a%20Bill%20of%20Rights%20was%20to%20withdraw%20certain%20subjects%20from%20the%20vicissitudes%20of%20political%20controversy&f=false) (Seventh ed.). London: Oxford University Press. p. 559. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [9780198709039](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9780198709039). Retrieved 16 March 2017.
* Jayawickrama, Nihal (2002). [ *The Judicial Application of Human Rights Law: National, Regional and International Jurisprudence* ](https://books.google.com/?id=kowFdvofCckC&pg=PA98&dq=West+Virginia+State+Board+of+Education+v.+Barnette+The+very+purpose+of+a+Bill+of+Rights+was+to+withdraw+certain+subjects+from+the+vicissitudes+of+political+controversy#v=onepage&q=West%20Virginia%20State%20Board%20of%20Education%20v.%20Barnette%20The%20very%20purpose%20of%20a%20Bill%20of%20Rights%20was%20to%20withdraw%20certain%20subjects%20from%20the%20vicissitudes%20of%20political%20controversy&f=false). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 98. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [9780521780421](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9780521780421). Retrieved 16 March 2017.
* *[West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia_State_Board_of_Education_v._Barnette)* , [319 U.S. 624](http://laws.findlaw.com/us/319/624.html), Majority Opinion, item 3 (US 1943) (“”The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.””).
* *[Obergefell v. Hodges](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obergefell_v._Hodges)* , No. 14-556, [slip op.](https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf) at 24 (U.S. June 26, 2015).
* [“Bill of Rights Transcript”](https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html). Archives.gov. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
* Cox, Archibald (1986). [“First Amendment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425000972.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 16, 2013.
* *[New York Times Co. v. Sullivan](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times_Co._v._Sullivan)* , [376](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_cases,_volume_376) [U.S.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Reports) [254](https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/376/254/) (1964)
* *[Near v. Minnesota](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_v._Minnesota)* , [283](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_cases,_volume_283) [U.S.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Reports) [697](https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/283/697/) (1931)
* *[New York Times Co. v. United States](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times_Co._v._United_States)* , [403](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_cases,_volume_403) [U.S.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Reports) [713](https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/403/713/) (1971)
* McAffee, Thomas B.; Michael J. Quinlan (March 1997). [“Bringing Forward The Right To Keep And Bear Arms: Do Text, History, Or Precedent Stand In The Way?”](http://scholarship.law.unc.edu/nclr/vol75/iss3/3/). *North Carolina Law Review* : 781.
* [92](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_cases,_volume_92) [U.S.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Reports) [542](https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/92/542/) (1875)
* [307](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_cases,_volume_307) [U.S.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Reports) [174](https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/307/174/) (1939)
* [554](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Supreme_Court_cases,_volume_554) [U.S.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Reports) [570](http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=CASE&court=US&vol=554&page=570) (2008)
* 561 U.S. [3025](https://supreme.justia.com/us/561/08-1521/index.html) (2010)
* Liptak, Adam (June 28, 2010). [“Justices Extend Firearm Rights in 5-to-4 Ruling”](https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/us/29scotus.html?src=me). *The New York Times* . Retrieved December 17, 2012.
* [“The Third Amendment”](http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/third-amendment.html). *Revolutionary War and Beyond* . September 7, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
* Mahoney, Dennis J. (1986). [“Third Amendment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425002516.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 15, 2013.
* [“Third Amendment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3048900607.html). *U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). January 1, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
* [“Exclusionary rule”](http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/197828/exclusionary-rule). *Encyclopædia Britannica* . Retrieved July 15, 2013.
* [“Fourth Amendment”](http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/215219/Fourth-Amendment). *Encyclopædia Britannica* . Retrieved July 15, 2013.
* [“Fifth Amendment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-2588700094.html). *Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). January 1, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
* [“The Sixth Amendment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-2639900006.html). *Constitutional Amendments: From Freedom of Speech to Flag Burning* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). January 1, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
* Mahoney, Dennis J. (1986). [“Seventh Amendment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425002279.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 15, 2013.
* [Bessler](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights#CITEREFBessler), p. 194.
* Krantz, Sheldon (1986). [“Cruel and Unusual Punishment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425000673.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 16, 2013.
* [“U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3048900191.html). *UXL Encyclopedia of American History* . January 1, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
* Weisberg, Robert (1986). [“Capital Punishment”](http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3425000370.html). *Encyclopedia of the American Constitution* .  – via [HighBeam Research](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HighBeam_Research) (subscription required). Retrieved July 16, 2013.
* [“The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Centennial Edition, Interim Edition: Alalysis of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 26, 2013”](http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CONAN-2013/pdf/GPO-CONAN-2013.pdf) (PDF). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. 2013. pp. 1738–39. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
* [“Tenth Amendment”](http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/587611/Tenth-Amendment). *Encyclopædia Britannica* . Retrieved July 19, 2013.
* Epstein, Richard A. (2014). *The Classical Liberal Constitution* . Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 13. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [978-0-674-72489-1](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/978-0-674-72489-1).
* Frieden, Terry (March 19, 2003). [“FBI recovers original copy of Bill of Rights”](http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/03/19/bill.of.rights). CNN. Retrieved April 25, 2008.
* [“Bill of Rights FAQs”](http://constitutioncenter.org/media/files/BOR-faqs.pdf) (PDF). *constitutioncenter.org* . National Constitution Center. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
* [“Background on the Bill of Rights and the New York Ratification of the Bill of Rights”](https://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2007/nr07-33.html). U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2008.
* [“Primary Documents in American History: The Bill of Rights”](https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/billofrights.html). The Library of Congress.
* [“History of the Bill of Rights”](http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/history-bill-of-rights.html) History of the Bill of Rights: Where are they today?
* [“Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives Opens Oct. 24”](http://www.ncdcr.gov/press-release/treasures-carolina-stories-state-archives-opens-oct-24). *ncdcr.gov* . North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
* [“The U.S. Marshals Service Takes Possession of North Carolina’s Copy of the Bill of Rights”](http://www.usmarshals.gov/history/north_carolina_bill_of_rights.htm). U.S. Marshals Service. Retrieved July 28, 2008.
* Parkinson, Hilary (December 13, 2011). [“A homecoming for six pages of parchment”](http://prologue.blogs.archives.gov/2011/12/13/a-homecoming-for-six-pages-of-parchment/). The National Archives. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
* Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler and Catherine Nicholson,[“A New Era Begins for the Charters of Freedom”](https://web.archive.org/web/20080102234718/http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/charters_preservation_01.html). March 14, 2006. Archived from [the original](https://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/charters_preservation_01.html) on January 2, 2008. *Prologue* , Fall 2003.
* For Know-It-Alls (2008). [ *The United States Bill of Rights for Know-It-Alls* ](https://books.google.com/?id=8E_ZKsH47EQC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=President+George+W.+Bush+stated,+%22The+true+%5BAmerican%5D+revolution+was+not+to+defy+one+earthly+power,+but+to+declare+principles+that+stand+above+every+earthly+power%E2%80%94the+equality+of+each+person+before+God,+and+the+responsibility+of+government+to+secure+the+rights+of+all.%22#v=onepage&q=President%20George%20W.%20Bush%20stated%2C%20%22The%20true%20%5BAmerican%5D%20revolution%20was%20not%20to%20defy%20one%20earthly%20power%2C%20but%20to%20declare%20principles%20that%20stand%20above%20every%20earthly%20power%E2%80%94the%20equality%20of%20each%20person%20before%20God%2C%20and%20the%20responsibility%20of%20government%20to%20secure%20the%20rights%20of%20all.%22&f=false). Filiquarian Publishing, LLC. p. 27. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [1599862255](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/1599862255) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* Grier, Peter (December 15, 2009). [“Bill of Rights Day: what Obama says about it”](http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2009/1215/Bill-of-Rights-Day-what-Obama-says-about-it). *Christian Science Monitor* . Retrieved July 10, 2013.

1. [“Bill of Rights Tour Opens in Kansas City”](https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1908&dat=19910918&id=oxUhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=u9kEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1371,4927894). *The Nevada Daily Mail* . September 18, 1991. Retrieved July 11, 2013 – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).

Bibliography

* Amar, Akhil Reed (1998). *The Bill of Rights* . Yale University Press.
* Beeman, Richard (2009). *Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution* . [Random House](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_House).
* Berkin, Carol (2015). *The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America’s Liberties* . [Simon & Schuster](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_%26_Schuster).
* Bessler, John D. (2012). *Cruel and Unusual: The American Death Penalty and the Founders’ Eighth Amendment* . [University Press of New England](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_Press_of_New_England).
* Brookhiser, Richard (2011). *James Madison* . [Basic Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Books).
* Brutus (1787) “To the Citizens of the State of New York”. In *The Complete Anti-Federalist, Volume 1* (2008). Ed. Herbert J. Storing. University of Chicago Press.
* Ellis, Joseph J. (2015). [ *The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=Z31oBAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [9780385353410](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9780385353410) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* Hamilton, Alexander, Madison, James, and Jay, John (2003) *The Federalist: With Letters of Brutus* . Ed. Terence Ball. Cambridge University Press.
* [Kyvig, David E.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_E._Kyvig) (1996). [ *Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1776–1995* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=4bWRAAAAMAAJ&dq). Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [0-7006-0931-8](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/0-7006-0931-8) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* Labunski, Richard E. (2006). *James Madison and the struggle for the Bill of Rights* . [Oxford University Press](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_University_Press).
* Levy, Leonard W. (1999). *Origins of the Bill of Rights* . [Yale University Press](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale_University_Press).
* Maier, Pauline (2010). *Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787–1788* . [Simon & Schuster](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_%26_Schuster).
* Rakove, Jack N. (1996). *Original Meanings* . [Alfred A. Knopf](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_A._Knopf).
* Stewart, David O. (2007). *The Summer of 1787* . [Simon & Schuster](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_%26_Schuster).
* Wood, Gordon S. (2009). *Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815* . [Oxford University Press](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_University_Press).

## Further reading

* [Barnett, Randy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Barnett) (2008). [“The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism”](https://books.google.com/books?id=yxNgXs3TkJYC). In [Hamowy, Ronald](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Hamowy). *The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism* . Thousand Oaks, CA: [SAGE](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAGE_Publications); [Cato Institute](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cato_Institute). pp. 32–33. [doi](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_object_identifier):[10.4135/9781412965811.n20](https://doi.org/10.4135/9781412965811.n20). [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [978-1-4129-6580-4](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/978-1-4129-6580-4). [LCCN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Congress_Control_Number) [2008009151](https://lccn.loc.gov/2008009151). [OCLC](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OCLC) [750831024](https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/750831024) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* Bodenhamer, David J.; James W. Ely (2008). [ *The Bill of Rights in modern America* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=YBKAvosk_lcC&pg=PP1). Indiana University Press. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [978-0-253-21991-6](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/978-0-253-21991-6) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* Bordewich, Fergus M. *The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government* (2016) on 1789–1791.
* Cogan, Neil H. (2015). *The Complete Bill of Rights: The Drafts, Debates, Sources, and Origins.* Second edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
* Schwartz, Bernard (1992). [ *The great rights of mankind: a history of the American Bill of Rights* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=d52OVwT_6PYC&pg=PP1). Rowman & Littlefield. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [978-0-945612-28-5](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/978-0-945612-28-5) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* Smith, Rich (2007). [ *The Bill of Rights: Defining Our Freedoms* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=BqMI9pUbUagC&pg=PP1). ABDO. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [978-1-59928-913-7](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/978-1-59928-913-7) – via [Google Books](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books).
* Stair, Nancy L. (2003). [ *The Bill of Rights: a primary source investigation into the first ten amendments of the Constitution* ](https://books.google.com/books?id=V7LnEe0RkCIC&pg=PA53). The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 53. [ISBN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number) [978-0-8239-3800-1](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/978-0-8239-3800-1).

## External links

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* National Archives: [The full text of the United States Bill of Rights](https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html)
* [Bill of Rights](https://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/503541) at *[Encyclopædia Britannica](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica)*
* Footnote.com (partners with the National Archives): [Online viewer with High-resolution image of the original document](http://www.footnote.com/viewer.php?image=4346711)
* Library of Congress: [Bill of Rights and related resources](https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/billofrights.html)
* [Alexander Hamilton, Federalist, no. 84, 575–81](http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/bill_of_rightss7.html), on opposition to the Bill of Rights
* TeachingAmericanHistory.org – [Bill of Rights](http://teachingamericanhistory.org/bor/)
* *[United States Bill of Rights](http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2)* at [Project Gutenberg](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gutenberg)
* ![|15×15](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Speaker_Icon.svg/15px-Speaker_Icon.svg.png) [ *Bill of Rights* ](https://librivox.org/search?title=Bill+of+Rights&author=MADISON&reader=&keywords=&genre_id=0&status=all&project_type=either&recorded_language=&sort_order=catalog_date&search_page=1&search_form=advanced) public domain audiobook at [LibriVox](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LibriVox)

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* [American Enlightenment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_Enlightenment)
* [George Mason](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:George_Mason)
* [History of the United States (1789–1849)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:History_of_the_United_States_(1789%E2%80%931849))
* [James Madison](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:James_Madison)
* [National human rights instruments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:National_human_rights_instruments)
* [Official documents of the United States](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Official_documents_of_the_United_States)
* [Presidency of George Washington](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Presidency_of_George_Washington)
* [United States Constitution](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:United_States_Constitution)

So CoLabs established Andrew as a delegate and we granted him full legal authority and even gave him a budget to address an issue, and despite that process, in which we established for all RAMs, not just ourselves, we did so to establish a equal playing field, one grounded in virtues and in righteousness, and yet it has been fairly argued, and yet I bring it back into the People’s Court, here at Rchaincommunity.xyz as it needs to be said, that when we are right, we uphold the Common Law and excercise our rights, far beyond corporate and contractual law, as we still have the ability and right to exercise those rights, and moreso, the right to establish a foundation grounded in principles.

Are we subjects? Are we sovereign? Are we sovereign IDs? Do we not have rights as argued before my very eyes.
The purpose of this post is to make you think. The purpose of this post is to make you think about blockchain technology and what it really means to you. Why are you hear? To argue that RAMs do not have rights? Are you willing to relinquish your rights? What was the purpose of establishing the Magna Carta or the Bill of Rights, or Common Law?
And I ask you again, what is the purpose of blockchain technology? To argue about a proper foundation? To claim workers or contractors have no rights? To slow pay?
Or  are sovereign individuals in control of their own destiny? Are they subjects? Are they capable of exercising their rights in order to bring economic freedom and justice? Or do we lose the battle  and go back to the same old system and just allow others to take it “offline” and out of the People’s Court? Or do we keep serving the ball into their side of the court, or do we just quit and let the game go as planned as other’s say you have no rights, as they take divine rights with your wife, and you willingly accept that?
I hope you support Andrew as our new delegate and give me all thumbs down in this post. We have the legal authority to form delegation and granted a budget of $3,500 / monthly for Andrew to represent the RAMs.
I just post this because I want to make you think about blockchain technology and what it means to you.

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