The following text is a transcription of the enrolled original of the Joint Resolution of Congress proposing the Bill of Rights, which is on permanent display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum. The spelling and punctuation reflects the original.
Hailed as "the Oxford English Dictionary of American constitutional history," the print edition of The Founders' Constitution has proved since its publication in 1986 to be an invaluable aid to all those seeking a deeper understanding of one of our nation's most important legal documents.
In this unique anthology, the authors draw on the writings of a wide array of people engaged in the problem of making popular government safe, steady, and accountable. The documents included range from the early seventeenth century to the 1830s, from the reflections of philosophers to popular pamphlets, from public debates in ratifying conventions to the private correspondence of the leading political actors of the day.
This edition of the Congressional Research Service's U.S. Constitution Annotated is a hypertext interpretation of the CRS text, updated to the currently published version. It links to Supreme Court opinions, the U.S. Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as enhancing navigation through search, breadcrumbs, linked footnotes and tables of contents.
Throughout the ratification period, Americans debated the theory and practical applications of governance. These debates were of fundamental importance as their outcome determined the basic character and components of the federal government.