Home > SparkCharts > History > U.S. Constitution > Article Five: The Amendment Process

U.S. Constitution


 
 

Article Five: The Amendment Process

Article V is critical to the Constitution’s flexibility because it allows for the addition of amendments and thus helps the government adapt to changing times.

  • Amendments to the U.S. Constitution can be proposed either:

    • if 2/3 of both the Senate and House of Representatives agree

    • if 2/3 of all state legislatures call a convention for proposing new amendments

  • Amendments are ratified either when 3/4 of all the state legislatures agree to the amendment or when 3/4 of special ratifying conventions in each state agree. Congress shall decide which form of ratification to use.

  • Amendments cannot be made before 1808 that change the constitutional provisions concerning the slave trade and direct taxation based on the census (see Article I, Section 9). Also, no amendment can ever deprive a state, without its consent, of its equal representation in the Senate.