Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
Amendments to the Constitution
Rep. Roger Sherman of Connecticut
Rep. Roger Sherman of Connecticut
by Ralph Earl
(Courtesy of the Yale University Art Gallery)

Roger Sherman deserves the credit for making it possible for Americans to point to a specific body of Amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Madison had drafted his proposals to be woven into the text of the Constitution and believed that otherwise they would be less effective. Sherman wanted the language proposed by the Federal Convention and accepted by the American people to remain inviolate. He joined Jackson in calling for postponement on 8 June, but eventually supported a modified version of Madison's proposals after forcing him to agree that the amendments would follow the text of the Constitution. Madison accepted the demand because he needed Sherman's support to ensure the two thirds majority required by Article V of the Constitution.

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