state constitutions in 1776. Today the amendments to the Constitution proposed by the first Federal Congress are often described as a bill of rights. However, nobody at the time - Washington, Madison, nor even the great champion of bills of rights Thomas Jefferson - referred to them as such. 

When did they acquire that title, and why? What does the complex story of the American 'bill of rights' suggest about the influence of English precedent on American constitutionalism, and of American constitutionalism on other parts of the Atlantic world?

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