Congress adopted the Bill of Rights-- the first ten Amendments to the Constitution--in 1791. From 1791 to today, Congress added just seventeen more Amendments.
In 1798, Congress added the eleventh Amendment. In 1992, Congress added the twenty- seventh Amendment. 17981992 How many years are there between 1798 and 1992?
Lets look at some of them. Today, the U.S. Constitution still has a total of twenty-seven Amendments.
Amendment 13 makes slavery illegal in America. This amendment was approved in 1865, just after the Civil War in America.
Amendment 14 gives the rights of citizenship to all people born in the USA or naturalized.
Amendment 16 allows Congress to collect a tax on income. Remember the last day you can send in federal income tax forms is April 15 th !
Four Amendments since the Bill of Rights are about who can vote.
The fifteenth Amendment says a male citizen of any race can vote.
The nineteenth Amendment says any citizen can vote. This Amendment gives women the vote!
The twenty-fourth Amendment says you dont have to pay (a poll tax) to vote. This gives equal access to rich and poor.
The twenty-sixth Amendment says citizens eighteen (18) and older can vote.
For most of Americas history, citizens had to be 21 to vote. In 1971, during the Vietnam War, the voting age was lowered to 18. People thought citizens old enough to fight for their country should be old enough to vote!
Today, all men between 18 and 26 years old must register with the Selective Service System. When a man registers, he is telling the government that he is available to serve in the U. S. Armed Forces.
He can register at a United States post office or on the Internet.
Only one Amendment has been repealed (reversed). Amendment 18 makes liquor illegal in the United States (a period in history known as Prohibition).
In the next lesson, we look at Rights and Responsibilities of United States citizens Everyone living in the United States
Appendix Each Amendment passed after the Bill of Rights is listed below. 1798 Amendment 11 sets judicial limits: a state may not be sued in federal court by someone in another state or country. 1804 Amendment 12 establishes the process for the Electoral College to choose the President and Vice- President. 1865 Amendment 13 makes slavery illegal. 1868 Amendment 14 gives the rights of citizenship to all people born in the USA or naturalized.
1870 Amendment 15 gives the vote to all citizens regardless of race or color. 1913 Amendment 16 allows Congress to collect a tax on income. 1913 Amendment 17 says two Senators from each state will be elected by the people of the state for a term of six years. 1919 Amendment 18 makes liquor illegal in the United States (a period in history known as Prohibition). 1920 Amendment 19 gives women the right to vote.
1933 Amendment 20 sets the beginning and ending of the terms served by federal officials. 1933 Amendment 21 repeals Prohibition (makes liquor legal again). 1951 Amendment 22 sets term limits for the President of the United States. 1961 Amendment 23 treats permanent residents of Washington, D.C. as if they were a state in elections for President and Vice-President (Residents of the District of Columbia live in a federal district under the jurisdiction of Congress. Since they do not live in a state, they could not vote for President and Vice-President before this amendment was passed.)
1964 Amendment 24 says citizens can never be charged a poll tax for the right to vote in federal and state elections. 1967 Amendment 25 establishes procedures to fill a vacancy in the offices of President and Vice-President and establishes a procedure in the event of a presidential disability. (This Amendment supersedes Article 2.) 1971 Amendment 26 lowers the age to vote to 18. 1992 Amendment 27 says pay increases for Congress may go into effect only after the next the next term of office begins.