Did you know, since the Constitution was ratified in 1788, there have been over 11,000 amendments proposed by Congress. However, only 27 of those made it through Congress and were ratified by the States. I was amazed at this stat, but I managed to verify it on the US Senate’s statistics page.
The next question that came to mind was, “what on earth were they proposing?”
As most of you who were educated in an American school (and paid attention) know, the first 10 amendments were known as the Bill of Rights. These were passed in 1789, soon after the original constitution was ratified by the necessary two thirds of the states. However, while I thought I paid attention in school, I don’t recall being taught there were originally 12 amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Here are the first two, which failed to make it through the ratification process when first proposed:
Apportioning the members of Congress based on population :
"After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons."Source: The Original Bill of Rights had 12 Amendments
The About.com source where I pulled the text of this amendment and the next from did the math and determined that, had this amendment passed, we would now have 6000 Congressmen and women all trying to “help” us. (As though 535 aren’t "helpful" enough!)
The second amendment seems a little saner:
"No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."
This amendment actually did make into the Constitution in 1992 and became the 27th amendment.
Knowing that Congress is capable of coming up with some doozies, I thought I’d see what else has been proposed in the past 224 years. Here are some of the more bizarre ones:
1893 – Change the name of the nation to the United States of Earth. Was their objective world domination, a one world government or was it just plain arrogance? Who knows?
1876 - Abolish the US Senate. Like that’s going to pass the Senate.
1878 - Replace the Presidency with a Council of Three. Someone must have taken a class in Greek History. If they had taken a class in American History, they might have realized that’s why the US has three branches of government.
1916 – Put acts of war to a national vote and anyone voting “yes” had to volunteer for service in the Army. Evidently, not everyone was gung-ho to serve “over there.”
1933 - Limit personal wealth to $1 million. I think they’re still trying to do that, aren’t they?Source: OMG facts - http://www.omg- facts.com/view/Facts/37876#8UC1mmhGursxuOGh.99 However, these same five amendments were listed on every site I could find so I have no idea who was the original source.
If you’ve heard of a bizarre amendment, let me know.
Giving credit where credit is due:All of the sites I used for fact checking this post are cited in the post.