Over the years additional amendments have been added to the Constitution.
How Amendments Are Made
It takes two steps to add an amendment to the Constitution:
Step 1: Proposal - An amendment can be proposed by either a two-thirds vote in Congress, including both the House of Representatives and the Senate, or a national convention made up of two-thirds of the states. All our current amendments were proposed by Congress.
Step 2: Ratification - Next, the amendment has to be ratified. It can be ratified by either three-fourths of the state legislatures or by state conventions in three-fourths of the states. Only the 21st amendment used the state convention method.
List of Amendments
Today there are 27 total amendments. Below is a brief description of each.
1st through the Tenth - See the Bill of Rights.
11th (February 7, 1795) - This amendment set limits on when a state can be sued. In particular it gave immunity to states from law suits from out-of-state citizens and foreigners not living within the state borders.
12th (June 15, 1804) - Revised the presidential election procedures.
13th (December 6, 1865) - This amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude.
14th (July 9, 1868) - Defined what it means to be a US citizen. It prohibits states from reducing the privileges of citizens and ensures each citizen the 'right to due process and the equal protection of the law'.
15th (February 3, 1870) - Gave all men the right to vote regardless of race or color or whether they had been slaves.
16th (February 3, 1913) - Gave the federal government the power to collect income tax.
17th (April 8, 1913) - Established that senators would be directly elected.
18th (January 16, 1919) - Prohibition of alcohol making alcoholic drinks illegal. (It would later be repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment)
19th (August 18, 1920) - The 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. It's also called women's suffrage.
20th (January 23, 1933) - Gave details on the terms of office for Congress and the President.
21st (December 5, 1933) - This amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment.
22nd (February 27, 1951) - Limited the president to a maximum of two terms or 10 years.
23rd (March 29, 1961) - Provided that Washington, DC be allowed representatives in the Electoral College. This way the citizens of Washington DC would have a vote for the president even though they are not officially part of a state.
24th (January 23, 1964) - Said that people don't have to pay a tax, called a poll tax, in order to vote.
25th (February 10, 1967) - This amendment defined the presidential succession if something should happen to the president. The first in line is the Vice-President.
26th (July 1, 1971) - Set the national voting age at 18.
27th (May 5 or 7, 1992) - States that Congressional salary changes can not take effect until the beginning of the next session of Congress.
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