Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press. Tenth Amendment, amendment (1791) to the Constitution of the United States, part of the Bill of Rights, providing the powers “reserved” to the states. Madison’s proposals were referred to a Select Committee (of which Madison was a member) and, when a streamlined version of the Bill of Rights came back to the full House, the Ninth Amendment no longer contained the language limiting the extension of federal power. The structure of the Constitution and the enumeration of federal power in Article I, Section 8 seemed to clearly imply that principle. Because the states had existed for more than a decade under the Articles of Confederation as thirteen independent and sovereign states, the degree to which the proposed Constitution would diminish (or eradicate) state sovereignty was a major issue in the ratification debates. The often overlooked 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution defines the American version of “ federalism ,” the system by which the legal powers of governance are divided between the federal government based in Washington, D.C., and the governments of the combined states. The problem comes up far more than most Americans realize because it does not directly affect U.S. citizens. This committee studied how the colonies might join together and submitted its proposal to Congress in the summer of 1777. However, in the case of the Tenth Amendment, the powers granted are to the State, rather than certain natural rights to individuals. Its presence in the Bill of Rights serves to remind us of the importance of self-government in the minds of Americans of the early republic. All Rights Reserved.

If the states had not delegated a particular power to the federal government, and if the Constitution had not forbidden the power to the states, then it remained as reserved to the states or the people. "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." The Tenth Amendment bears a certain resemblance to the ninth Amendment that it grants authority or powers to a certain faction that are not explicitly included or enumerated under the United States Constitution.

The Amendment expressly declares the constitutional policy that Congress may not exercise power in a fashion that impairs the States’ integrity or their ability to function effectively in a federal system.

This did not make the Articles law, though. Although a sufficient number of states eventually agreed to ratify the Constitution, a number of them did so with the understanding that the scope of federal power would be strictly limited. Indeed, adding such restrictions might even prove dangerous, for the enumeration of certain rights might be construed to allow federal power to extend to all matters except those expressly prohibited. It is known as the Articles of Confederation. It expresses the principle of federalism, also known as states' rights by stating that the federal government has only those powers delegated to it by the Constitution, and that all other powers not forbidden to the states by the Constitution, are reserved to each state, or its people. They did not object to Madison’s draft or believe the principle unimportant; it was just that they believed that the Tenth Amendment was unlikely to have any “real effect.” It was already well understood that all non-delegated powers remained with the states. An essential history, from one of the leading scholars on the Founders' Constitution. The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. The text of the 10th Amendment reads, “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.” Under the United States Constitution, there are certain provisions that place responsibility or authoritative powers to the Federal government.

• In a letter to George Washington discussing Randolph’s concerns about the Ninth Amendment, Madison explained that, “If a line can be drawn between the powers granted and the rights retained, it would seem to be the same thing, whether the latter be secured, by declaring that they shall not be abridged, or that the former shall not be extended.” According to Madison, preserving retained rights amounted to the same thing as prohibiting the undue extension of power.