Demand for a Bill of Rights
Almost immediately after beginning to meet in 1789, the first Congress, led by James Madison, began to consider amendments to the Constitution proposed by the state ratifying conventions. George Washington and Madison had personally pledged to consider amendments because they realized that some amendments would be necessary to reduce pressure for a second constitutional convention that might drastically alter and weaken the new federal government. Fastening on Anti-Federalist criticisms that the Constitution lacked a clear articulation of guaranteed rights, Madison proposed amendments that emphasized the rights of individuals rather than the rights of states， an ingenious move that led to cries that these amendments—now known as the “Bill of Rights”—were a mere diversion.
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