List of Constitutional Amendments to the United States Constitution

List of Constitutional Amendments to the United States Constitution

An amendment is an alteration of or addition to a motion, bill, constitution, etc. A total of twenty-seven amendments have been ratified by the United States Congress since the United States Constitution was originally signed.

The first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights. The procedure for amending the United States Constitution is governed by Article V of the original text.

List of Constitutional Amendments

Following is a list of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution that received the approval of the United States Congress. Information includes the name of the amendment, a brief description, and the date it was enacted.

1st Amendment
Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government
Enacted on December 15, 1791

2nd Amendment
Protects the right to keep and bear arms.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

3rd Amendment
Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

4th Amendment
Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

5th Amendment
Sets out rules for indictment by a grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

6th Amendment
Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

7th Amendment
Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

8th Amendment
Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

9th Amendment
Asserts the existence of unremunerated rights retained by the people.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

10th Amendment
Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution.
Enacted on December 15, 1791

11th Amendment
Provides immunity of states from suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders. Lays the foundation for sovereign immunity.
Enacted on February 7, 1795

12th Amendment
Revises presidential election procedures.
Enacted on June 15, 1804

13th Amendment
Abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
Enacted on December 6, 1865

14th Amendment
Defines citizenship and deals with post–Civil War issues.
July 9, 1868

15th Amendment
Prohibits the denial of suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Enacted on February 3, 1870

16th Amendment
Allows the federal government to collect income tax.
Enacted on February 3, 1913

17th Amendment
Requires United States senators to be directly elected.
Enacted on April 8, 1913

18th Amendment
Establishes the Prohibition of alcohol (eventually repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment – see below).
Enacted on January 16, 1919

19th Amendment
Establishes women’s suffrage.
Enacted on August 18, 1920

20th Amendment
Fixes the dates of term commencements for Congress (January 3) and the President (January 20);known as the “lame duck amendment”.
Enacted on January 23, 1933

21st Amendment
Repeals the Eighteenth Amendment.
Enacted on December 5, 1933

22nd Amendment
Limits the United States President to two terms of service, or a maximum of 10 years (i.e., if a Vice President serves not more than one half of a President’s term, he/she can be elected to a further two terms).
Enacted on February 27, 1951

23rd Amendment
Provides for representation of Washington, D.C. in the Electoral College.
Enacted on March 29, 1961

24th Amendment
Prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of poll taxes.
Enacted on January 23, 1964

25th Amendment
Codifies the Tyler Precedent; defines the process of presidential succession.
Enacted on February 10, 1967

26th Amendment
Established 18 as the national voting age.
Enacted on July 1, 1971

27th Amendment
Prevents laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until the beginning of the next session of Congress.
Enacted on May 7, 1992

There have been many other proposals for amendments to the United States Constitution introduced in Congress.


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