Constitutional Amendments

The Amendment Process

The framers of the Constitution, learning from the mistakes made when creating the Articles of Confederation, included the amendment process in the United States Constitution so that the document could adapt to the changing needs of the country.  So far, there have only been 27 changes since the Constitution was ratified–and ten of them were done right away in order to get the anti-Federalist to withdraw their opposition.

The process of changing it was not designed to be easy.  It is harder to pass than a law, which only requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (and approval by the President).  To propose an amendment, 2/3 must agree in both the House and the Senate OR 2/3 of the state legislatures (which has never happened, they’ve all be proposed at the national level).

Then, to be approved, an amendment must be ratified by 3/4 of the states, either by their legislatures or in a special convention (which has only happened once, all the others were ratified by state legislatures).

amendment process



Bill of Rights (all 1791)

First Amendment

Second Amendment

Third Amendment

Fourth Amendment

Fifth Amendment

Sixth Amendment

Seventh Amendment

Eighth Amendment

Ninth Amendment

Tenth Amendment


Eleventh Amendment (1795)

Twelfth Amendment (1804)



Thirteenth Amendment (1865)

Fourteenth Amendment (1868)

Fifteenth Amendment (1870)




Sixteenth Amendment (1913)

Seventeenth Amendment (1913)

Eighteenth Amendment (1919)

Nineteenth Amendment (1920)




Twentieth Amendment (1933)

Twenty-First Amendment (1933)



Twenty-Second Amendment (1951)

Twenty-Third Amendment (1961)

Twenty-Fourth Amendment (1964)

Twenty-Fifth Amendment (1967)

Twenty-Sixth Amendment (1971)

Twenty-Seventh Amendment (1992)

U. S. History & Government Regents Review Page

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