On Dec. 15, 1791, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified.
The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserve some powers to the states and the public.
Originally, the Bill of Rights included legal protection for land-owning white men only, excluding African Americans and women. It took additional Constitutional Amendments and numerous Supreme Court cases to extend the same rights to all U.S. citizens.