#1: Ratification of the Constitution
One of the major purposes behind the Bill of RIghts was to save the Constitution and the nation.
The Constitutional convention convened in 1787 in Philadelphia, its original intent being the rewriting of the Articles of Confederation. The 55 delegates soon realized that for the new nation to succeed, they would have to discard the Articles of Confederation and create a new government. After months of deliberation, the Constitution was finished, but would it be approved?
An ideological argument accompanied the completion of the document. Many delegates feared a too powerful central government and wished to provide a Bill of Rights to prevent governmental abuses. Others felt a Bill of Rights unnecessary, considering government had no authority to grant natural rights--life, liberty, and property, for example--and that by granting rights, governments, in the future, could eliminate rights and prohibit rights not expressly guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
It became increasingly clear, however, that the United States Constitution, without a Bill of Rights, would not be ratified. The delegates, who had throughout the convention miraculously solved numerous insurmountable issues, approved ten amendments to the Constitution, the last two granting all rights not given to the national government to individuals or to the states.