Who Wrote The First Amendment ?

Who Wrote The First Amendment ?

The Father of the Constitution, James Madison wrote the First Amendment along with eleven others. Ten were approved and became the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment puts limitations on the government''s authority to suppress people.

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Though Madison was the one who wrote it, it was his mentor Thomas Jefferson who convinced him to write it. Jefferson was concerned with the right to exercise religious freedom, freedom of speech and press.

Madison did not believe that the federal government would become powerful enough to curb such freedom. He proposed it mainly to please Jefferson. In fact, it took ten years for him to understand its importance. It was when the Adams administration tried to suppress Jeffersonian newspapers that he realized what could happen if freedom of press was not enforced.

In 1777, Jefferson came out with his draft for a state bill for Virginia which talked about religious freedom. In it, he states that no man should be forced to attend a particular church not of his choice or to support it forcibly. The bill became the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom later on.

He was also moved by the works of John Locke and Cesare Beccaria, renowned philosophers of European Enlightenment. It was Locke’s “Letter concerning toleration” that inspired him to propose that all individuals should have full toleration when it comes to religion.

A lot of states had also included freedom of speech in their independent constitutions.

So, though Madison wrote the First Amendment, the idea had been around for a long time.

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