Drafted by James Madison as a response to calls forheightened protection in the constitution for individual liberties, the Bill ofRights puts a multitude of limitations on the power of the government. One ofmany points that Federalists and Anti-Federalists argued over was the lack of abill of rights, placing limits on the power of the government. Federalistspushed that the Constitution did not need it, since the people and the stateskept all powers that were not given to the government. Anti-Federalistsproposed that it was required to protect individual liberty.

Some predecessorsto the Bill of Rights include the Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, and thePetition of Right. The two purposes behind the Bill of Rights was to get theConstitution ratified, and to limit government power. When the Constitution wascompleted, many of the delegates at the Philadelphia Constitutional conventionin 1787 were worried about a powerful central government similar to that inwhich they fought to break free from. Many of these delegates wanted to use aBill of Rights to prevent the abuse of power, although others felt it unneeded.Others thought that the government had no authority to grant the people basicrights, the right to life, liberty, and property. They thought that in doingso, future governments could remove rights not guaranteed in the Bill ofRights.

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The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to theConstitution, was drafted by James Madison to protect individual liberties. Atthe time, Madison was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and wentthrough the Constitution, making changes he thought were needed. However, manypeople thought that Congress did not have the authority to change theConstitution, and the changes were then changed to a list of amendments.

Of theamendments sent in, the House of Representatives approved 17, and of the 17,the Senate approved 12. After being sent to the states for approval, 10 wereratified. All in all, the delegates at the Philadelphia Constitutionalconvention feared a new government where too much power was put into thegovernment. They had thought it would lead to the same oppression that they hadrecently done away with by means of war. James Madison went through the Constitution,making changes where appropriate, which then turned into amendments as theConstitution itself could not be changed. Ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, managedto become amendments to the U.S.

Constitution, effectively limiting the powerof the government. Viewed as unnecessary by many, this became the foundation ofindividual rights and liberties.