An Unlikely Journey in the United States Constitution: the Tale of the 27th Amendment

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Jan 16, 2024
Read Summary
Cite this
An Unlikely Journey in the United States Constitution: the Tale of the 27th Amendment

This essay tells the remarkable story of the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, a true underdog tale in American legislative history. Initially proposed by James Madison in 1789 as part of the original Bill of Rights, the amendment aimed to regulate congressional salary changes, ensuring they only take effect after an election. However, it fell into obscurity for over two centuries. The narrative then shifts to the late 20th century, where Gregory Watson, a university student, stumbles upon the forgotten amendment and kickstarts a nationwide campaign for its ratification. Against all odds, his efforts culminate in its official adoption in 1992. This essay highlights not only the amendment’s journey to ratification but also its significance in American democracy. It serves as a testament to the Constitution’s enduring nature and the impact that individuals can have on the nation’s highest laws. The 27th Amendment’s story, while often overlooked, underscores the importance of accountability in governance and the continuous evolution of the U.S. Constitution. PapersOwl offers a variety of free essay examples on the topic of United States Constitution.

Date added
Order Original Essay

How it works

Picture this: an amendment proposed by one of the Founding Fathers ends up taking a 200-year detour before finally becoming part of the Constitution. Sounds like the plot of a historical drama, right? Well, that’s exactly the real-life story of the 27th Amendment – the ultimate underdog of the American Constitution.

Back in 1789, James Madison, you know, the guy they call the “Father of the Constitution,” proposed this amendment to keep Congress’s salary checks in balance. The idea was simple: any change in their salary wouldn’t kick in until after the next election.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

This way, Congress couldn’t just give themselves a pay raise willy-nilly without answering to the voters first. Smart, right? But despite its practicality, the amendment ended up on the back burner.

Fast forward to the late 20th century, and enter Gregory Watson, a college kid in Texas who discovers this long-forgotten amendment. He’s like, “Hey, this should be a thing,” and starts a one-man mission to get it ratified. What starts as a college paper turns into a full-blown crusade, and against all odds, state by state, the amendment starts getting traction. Finally, in 1992 – a whopping 203 years later – Michigan puts the final stamp on it, and voilà, the 27th Amendment is born.

This saga isn’t just a cool historical tidbit; it’s a powerful reminder of the enduring nature of the U.S. Constitution and the role we, as regular folks, can play in shaping it. It’s about how a seemingly minor adjustment in the grand scheme of things like congressional salaries can speak volumes about checks and balances and accountability in government.

In essence, the 27th Amendment’s story is a tribute to the unsung heroes of democracy and the long, winding road that legislative changes often travel. It shows us that patience, perseverance, and a bit of civic zeal can move mountains – or in this case, amend constitutions. So, the next time you think about the U.S. Constitution, remember the 27th Amendment – the little amendment that could, and did, after taking the scenic route through history.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

An Unlikely Journey in the United States Constitution: The Tale of the 27th Amendment. (2024, Jan 16). Retrieved from