General Question

lilikoi's avatar

Why were the constitutional amendments amendments? Why weren't they written into the original document?

Asked by lilikoi (10028 points ) March 3rd, 2010

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14 Answers

ChaosCross's avatar

They were unsure that they wouldn’t need to change it again soon.

Cruiser's avatar

They had a revolution to finish and a large part of the British army breathing down their necks and figured the nitty gritty details could wait a bit.

TexasDude's avatar

The amendments are added separately to keep the original document in tact as it was written at the time. This is the same reason why new amendments have to be added to cancel out old amendments… to keep people from forgetting what the document once said.

filmfann's avatar

the amendments were written to satisfy New York, which wanted them in the original document. Other founders didn’t want them in the original body.

dpworkin's avatar

You mean the Bill of Rights, or every amendment?

PacificRimjob's avatar

One reason is because there’s no shortage of idiots that believe they know what’s best for us. Temperance movement forcing prohibition for example.

Fortunately, at least for now, the amendments can show for all time that we realized we fucked up (prohibitions repeal) so hopefully, maybe enough of us will have learned a lesson from history and fight to keep it from being repeated.

filmfann's avatar

the original 12 amendments, aka the Bill of Rights.

jaytkay's avatar

The British army was not a factor. The Revolutionary War was essentially over in 1781, the Constitution was written in 1787. The Bill of Rights was added later.

josie's avatar

The Constitution was ratified and went into effect in early 1789. There had been pressure from the beginning to add articles to the Constitution that promoted individual liberty and limited government power. The original document did not have a “Bill of Rights-some of the Founders and Framers, like Alexander Hamilton, did not think that they were needed. To avoid a second Constitutional convention, that might have undone all of the debate and compromises that went into the original document, the articles were added as amendments starting in late 1789. It is interesting to read some of the proposed articles that did not “make the cut” during the debates that produced the first ten ammendments.

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

To have it ratified in haste the first ten admendments aka “The Bill of Rights” it was agreed would be put in as admendments. There admendments were always an option, The laws in the Bill of Rights could not be ratified or agreed upon enough to put them in the body, so it was a sort of compromise to add them as the first admendments. That is how I remember it.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

It’s hard to think of everything.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because things changed.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Article V of the Constitution sets forth the method to amend the Constitution.

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