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The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Among other provisions, they protect the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, and the press (see First Amendment); restrict governmental rights of search and seizure; and list several rights of persons accused of crimes (see Fifth Amendment).
Note: After the new Constitution was submitted to the states in 1787, several approved it only after being assured that it would have a bill of rights attached to it. Accordingly, these amendments were passed by the first Congress under the Constitution and were ratified by the states in 1791.