Only 27 attempts to change the Constitution have succeeded in passing the rigorous process to ratification
Here are just some of the ways Americans have tried to change the nation
In the two centuries since our nation’s founders wrote of their goal to “form a more perfect union” in the U.S. Constitution, Americans have made more than 11,000 attempts to change it.
Most, however, failed miserably. Among the many attempts to add amendments to the Constitution, only 27 have succeeded in passing the rigorous process to ratification.
With help from the U.S. National Archives, here are just some of the ways Americans have tried to change the nation.
1. Ban drunkenness
In 1938, after prohibition had been repealed and Americans were rightfully celebrating nationwide, a member of Congress proposed an amendment to ban heavy intoxication. One of his colleagues found the idea so ridiculous, he scribbled a hand-written addition to the bottom that cheekily also proposed banning Saturday nights.
2. No more duelers in Congress
America has a long history of powerful leaders participating in duels. (See: Alexander Hamilton.) An 1838 proposal aimed to put a stop to it by banning anyone who had previously participated in a duel from holding federal office.
3. Ban presidents
Being president has never been an easy job – or a popular one – which is why some Americans in the year leading up to the Civil War wanted to get rid of the office altogether. The 1860 proposal suggested replacing a single president with an executive committee.