What is the 10th Amendment?
The 10th Amendment is about the powers of the Federal Government, the States and the People. It is also referred to as the Privileges or Immunities Clause.
Summary of the 10th Amendment
Summary: The 10th Amendment states that any powers that the Constitution does not give to the US government, belong to the states and the people, excluding powers that the Constitution says the states cannot have.
The Powers of the Federal Government, the States and the People
George Washington was the first American President who served in office from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. One of the key events during his presidency was the ratification of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, which includes the 10th amendment, was ratified (meaning approved) on December 15, 1791.
10th Amendment Simplified Summary
A simplified summary of the 10th Amendment is:
Powers kept by the states or the people
Cause and Reason for the 10th Amendment
The cause or reason for this addition to the Constitution was to fear of the Founding Fathers and Framers that the people and the states would be dominated by the powers of the federal government. To ensure the control of this power, the people and states were granted all the powers that the federal government had not been granted.
10th Amendment Text - The Tenth Amendment
The original full text of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution is as follows:
10th Amendment Text
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
10th Amendment Meaning, Explanation and Summary
The outrage of the early colonists against the treatment, and the laws, imposed by the British led to the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. The meaning of the words and phrases in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution are explained as follows:
10th Amendment: Meaning of the Words of the Amendment
|10th Amendment||"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." || ||Meaning: The Tenth Amendment reflects the overall concept of the earlier Articles of Confederation.|
The Articles of Confederation were the first governing document and the original constitution of America that was adopted on on March 1, 1781 when the last of the original 13 states had agreed and signed the document.
The Articles of Confederation contained the terms by which the 13 new states agreed to participate in a centralized form of government, in addition to their self-rule. Each of the states had written their own state constitutions.
Under the Articles of Confederation each of the states retained their:
"sovereignty, freedom and independence."
The Articles of Confederation declared that every state would keep their freedom, independence, jurisdiction, rights, and sovereignty.
In the government of America the supreme power is retained by the whole body of the people (not a monarch) and is exercised by representatives elected by them - a constitutional representative government.
The government of the US is referred to as a Federal Government (a national government) in which power is divided between one central and several regional authorities (the individual states).
The tenth amendment made it clear that the federal government had the powers specifically granted by the US Constitution and that the states and the people also had rights and laws that would be enforced at state level.
The 10th Amendment set the guidelines for federalism (one of the 7 principles of the Constitution) in the United States.
|10th Amendment||"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." || ||Meaning: Any power not listed is left to the states or the people. These "powers" were not individually specified.|
In practice, the "powers", meaning laws, delegated to the states and the people, relate to laws relating to family relations (such as marriage, divorce, and adoption), Trade (buying and selling) and business that occurs within the borders of individual states and local law enforcement activities.
10th Amendment: Meaning of the Words of the Tenth Amendment
Who wrote the 10th Amendment of the Constitution?
James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution", wrote the 10th Amendment in 1789 as one of the first 10 amendments collectively known as the Bill of Rights. The 10th amendment about the Powers of the States and People was ratified on December 15, 1791.
President George Washington Video
The article on the 10th Amendment of the Constitution provides the text, definition and history of one of the major achievements of his presidential term in office. The following video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 10th American President whose presidency spanned from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.