12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States

U.S Constitution

Welcome, fellow history buffs and enthusiasts of the peculiar and extraordinary! Ever wondered how different the United States could have been if some rather odd constitutional amendments were ratified? Get ready for a wild ride through American legislative history. Explore a dozen bizarre constitutional amendments that, if adopted, would have transformed the U.S. into a truly unconventional nation.

From absurd laws on titles of nobility to astonishing mustache regulations (yes, you read that right), these unconventional proposals will have you chuckling and in awe. So, without further ado, let’s plunge into the rabbit hole of ‘what might have been’!

Titles of Nobility

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by YuriArcus via canva.com

First up is the ‘Titles of Nobility’ Amendment, proposed in 1810 and still awaiting ratification (talk about a hold-up!). This amendment would have expressly forbidden American citizens from accepting titles of nobility or hereditary honors from any foreign nation unless with the express consent of Congress.

What would this mean if it had been adopted? Well, we’d all have to devise new ways of impressing our friends, as no more duchesses or princes among us!

Mustache Amendment

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by Selimaksan via canva.com

Undoubtedly the most bizarre amendment to make it past Congress was the 1820 provisions proposed by return-to-France enthusiast Elbridge Gerry, who wanted to make wearing a mustache compulsory for all American males over 18.

Not only that, but the amendment stipulated that mustaches must be at least four inches in length and waxed into extravagant shapes. Thankfully, the amendment never reached the ratification stage – we shudder at the thought of a nation full of waxed mustache-wearers!

Happy Birthday

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by vladans via canva.com

the infamous ‘Happy Birthday’ amendment of 1984! As absurd as it sounds (and yes, you read that right), this amendment would have made it illegal for any person or business entity to use the phrase “happy birthday” without paying a licensing fee.

We can all agree that this proposal never made it through the legislative process, and thankfully, can you imagine having to pay a fee every time you wanted to wish someone a happy birthday?

The United States of the World

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by pixelshot via canva.com

A much more peculiar proposed amendment from 1943: Senator Elbert Thomas proposed a law that would have changed the name of the United States to ‘The United States of the World.’

He believed changing the name would help reinforce America’s commitment to international cooperation and peaceful relations. Thankfully, this amendment was never passed – otherwise, we’d still be saying ‘U.S.W.’!

Owning Slaves

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided Everett collection via canva.com

possibly the most eye-catching of the bunch is the 1810 amendment proposed by Virginia congressman William Branch Giles, which would have allowed U.S. citizens to own slaves in any state as long as the slaveholder did not live there permanently.

The amendment was never ratified and has since been superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery altogether (thank goodness!).

Separate Currency

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by NikolayFrolochkin via canva.com

Another eyebrow-raiser is the 1812 amendment that sought to create a separate currency for Native Americans. This plan was created to give Native Americans more autonomy and control over their own financial affairs, but it also had the potential to create economic divisions within the United States.

The amendment failed to pass, and we can only speculate on how its passage could have changed the course of American history.

Recall Senators

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office via Wikimedia Commons

Next on the list is the 1892 amendment proposed by Representative John F. Shafroth of Colorado that would have given Congress the power to recall U.S. senators elected to office – potentially allowing for more responsive representation in the upper chamber.

This amendment was ahead of its time and would have likely been voted down if it had ever come up for consideration, but it’s still an interesting concept to consider today.

Reverse Taxes

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by uttah 778 via canva.com

proposed in 1974 by Senator Mark Hatfield. This radical measure would have replaced the current federal income tax system with a ‘reverse tax’ that would essentially pay people for their work and other activities rather than take away from it.

This idea was based on the notion that money should be redistributed to benefit those with the most need rather than those who earn the most. However, this amendment failed to pass and is now only a footnote in tax history.

Firearm Control

firearm
Photo credit- Canva.com

We’ve all heard of the right to bear arms, but what about the right not to? That’s exactly what was proposed in 1989 when Congressman Pete Stark suggested an amendment that would have granted citizens the right to “refrain from bearing arms.”

This amendment was never ratified, but it sparked a national conversation about the issue of gun control and the right to self-defense.

Profanity

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by JenifferElh via canva.com

Fast-forwarding to the ‘No Profanity’ amendment of 2006. This proposed addition to the Constitution sought to make it illegal for any U.S. citizen to utter obscene or profane language in public – something that would have had a major impact on our collective sense of freedom and expression!

Thankfully, this amendment was never ratified and is now only remembered for its potential implications.

Owning Pet Rodents

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by Life on White via canva.com

And now for something completely different: the 1954 proposal by U.S. Senator William Langer, which would have granted citizens the right to own pet rodents such as hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

Although this amendment was never passed, one can’t help but wonder, if its proposed freedoms had been accepted in America, how much greater our love of furry friends would be today!

Full Equality

12 Bizarre Constitutional Amendments That Could Have Changed The United States
provided by Jacob Lund via canva.com

Lastly, we come to what might be the most bizarre amendment ever proposed: The Equal Rights Amendment. In 1923, the National Women’s Party (which had been organizing since 1916) proposed an amendment that guaranteed full equality for women under the U.S. Constitution.

Despite gaining support from both sides of the political aisle, it was never ratified – leaving gender inequality in America still unresolved to this day.

And there you have it – the most curious constitutional amendments that could have changed the United States! From wacky waxed mustaches to far-reaching implications about slavery, Whether you’re a student of history, an admirer of oddities, or just looking for some weird trivia to impress your friends with, this list will surely give you something to talk about. So until next time – happy learning!

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
provided by Frenz via canva.com

Despite his scandalous affair with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment trial in 1998, Bill Clinton’s popularity increased due to his policies, and he was still seen as a great leader of the United States.

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People

The 9 Best Travel Backpacks For Women in 2023

The 9 Best Travel Backpacks For Women in 2023
provided by Frenz via canva.com

To assist you in making an informed purchasing decision, we’ve compiled all the necessary information and curated a list of the top nine travel backpacks for women. 

The 9 Best Travel Backpacks For Women in 2023

30 Ways America Has Changed In The Last Decade

30 Ways America Has Changed In The Last Decade
Provided by Frenz via canva.com

As the sand slips through the hourglass, we bid farewell to another decade, a time span that has altered the contours of our lives in ways we could have scarcely imagined. While historians may argue about when the 2010s officially ended—2020 or 2021—the undeniable fact remains: the winds of change have been at work, leaving indelible imprints on our collective psyche.

30 Ways America Has Changed In The Last Decade

Beyond the White House: 10 American Presidents That Faced Financial Struggles Post-Presidency

Beyond the White House: 10 American Presidents That Faced Financial Struggles Post-Presidency
provided by Frenz via canva.com

The end of a U.S. President’s term often marks the beginning of a new chapter in their life, filled with opportunities and challenges. While many presidents have enjoyed post-presidency success, others have faced financial hardships that are not widely known. In this post, we’ll explore the stories of U.S. Presidents who faced financial difficulties after leaving office and how they navigated through these challenging times.

Beyond the White House: 10 American Presidents That Faced Financial Struggles Post-Presidency

15 Wealthiest American Presidents of All Time

15 Wealthiest American Presidents of All Time
provided by Frenz via canva.com

The United States of America has had 46 Presidents, each with their own unique legacy and contribution to the country. While some Presidents left an indelible mark on history, others could amass significant wealth during their lifetimes. This post takes a closer look at the 15 richest American Presidents of all time and how they accumulated their wealth.

15 Wealthiest American Presidents of All Time

Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts