- Article V was placed in the Constitution to correct for errors and needs, present and future.
- Amendments would provide the middle ground between changes made too easy, and a Constitution essentially written in stone.
- Three fourths of the States are required for ratification.
- Proposals can be made by the States or Congress.
Federalist 43 and Article V
After the Constitutional Convention, in Federalist 43, Madison argues thus:
"To provide for amendments to be ratified by three fourths of the States under two exceptions only. ''That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen. It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided. The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other. The exception in favor of the equality of suffrage in the Senate, was probably meant as a palladium to the residuary sovereignty of the States, implied and secured by that principle of representation in one branch of the legislature; and was probably insisted on by the States particularly attached to that equality. The other exception must have been admitted on the same considerations which produced the privilege defended by it.
Article V, the 1787 Formation Process
Index to all the Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention, Federalist 43 and 85, and Jefferson's letter to Samuel Kercheval