– Answer Key

Answer Key to Bill of Rights Day Quiz

1. On what date (month, day & year) was the Bill of Rights ratified?

December 15, 1791

2. Very briefly, (9 words or less) what is the Bill of Rights?

The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution–other answers also possible.
3. Who was the key author of the Bill of Rights?

James Madison

4.  What are the 5 basic freedoms cited in the First Amendment?

speech, press, religion, petition & assembly

5. Who proposed a Bill of Rights in the closing days of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787?

George Mason (VA) proposed the idea and Elbridge Gerry(MA) moved

that a committee be appointed to prepare a bill of of rights. Voting by

states, the motion was defeated 10-0.

6. In 1789, how many amendments were submitted to the states by Congress?


7. What topics were included in the proposed amendments that were not ratified?

Madison recommended limiting House membership to one representative for each 30,000 voters until the total of 200 members was reached. Also, he proposed that salary increases voted for members of Congress would not become effective until after an ensuing election. (This proposal was ratified on May 18, 1992 as the 27th Amendment.) Approval by the Michigan legislature gave the proposal the required vote of 3/4ths of the several States.

8. How many amendments have been added to the Constitution as of Dec. 15, 1994?


9. Name the 3 states existing in 1789-1791 that did not ratify the Bill of Rights before they went into effect:

Connecticut, Georgia and Massachusetts ratified symbolically in 1939, the

150th anniversary of their approval in the 1st Congress.

10. How many states were required to ratify the Bill of Rights?

There were 14 states in  1791 so 11 states (of the 14 in the Union) were


11. Which state was the first to ratify the Bill of Rights?

New Jersey (On Nov. 20, 1789)

12. Where would you go to see an original copy of the Bill of Rights? (Bonus:  How many original copies were prepared?)

The only original copy on permanent public display is located in the

National Archives in Washington, D.C.  There were fifteen original