After fighting a war to win liberty from a tyrannical government, Anti-Federalists — a faction of our Founding Fathers led primarily by Patrick Henry distrustful of a strong national government — pushed for amendments to the Constitution to identify fundamental natural rights and civil liberties. Such a Bill of Rights, they believed, was necessary because of the known propensity of governments generally to usurp powers not delegated to it.
Yet some, such as James Madison, initially fought such a move, based on the principle that there is no need to say what a government cannot do, because that could imply it can do everything else.
In the final analysis, however, Madison took the lead in the Congress in support of the first ten amendments to the Constitution as the Bill of Rights, because not to do so likely would have doomed the entire process. He therefore, but reluctantly, drafted 12 proposals to settle concerns of Anti-Federalists; 10 were initially