US Constitutional Amendment Mnemonics (Part III)

Published on Sunday, October 11, 2009 in , , , ,

Mdgilkison's We The People graphicIn order to form a more perfect union, you must master not only the first 9 amendments, and not only the second 9 amendments, but all 27, including the ones I'm about to teach you.

We start this post with the 19th amendment. Just about anyone who grew up in the 1970s or 1980s can tell you what the 19th amendment is, thanks to Essra Mohawk and Schoolhouse Rock!:

If the lyrics themselves don't help bring the women's rights amendment to mind as number 19, imagine the scene with all those women coming out of the voting booth, and imagine that there's exactly 19, 190, or 1900. To help lock it in, you could also imagine that they're all 19, too.

There's a simple mnemonic for memorizing the 16th through 19th amendments in order as a group, as well: “In come senators with wine and women.” “In come” refers to the income tax amendment (#16). “senators” refers to the 17th amendment, dealing with the election of senators, “wine” referring to the prohibition amendment (the 18th), and “women“, of course, referring to the women's vote amendment.

The 20th amendment almost writes its own mnemonic. It states that the president takes office on January 20th, so you can just think of it as the January 20th amendment. It not only covers what happens when a president goes into office, but also when a president goes out, such as a death in the office. The other parts concern how often Congress must meet and what happens when a state representative dies. Remember, this was covered for senators in the 17th amendment.

We've already covered 21 in the previous article, since it repealed the 18th amendment. As a refresher: You can't drink at 18, but you can drink at 21.

amendment 22 is another one that nearly writes its own mnemonic. It limits a President “2”(to) 2 terms.

The 23rd amendment can be thought of as the “23-D-C” amendment, because it allows citizens of Washington, D.C. to vote for the president.

Moving on to amendment 24, this amendment prohibits poll taxes. In other words, it is unconstitutional to charge people for registering to vote. If you link amendment 24 with December 24th, when Santa is very busy at the North Pole (or “No Pol”), you can easily recall that this is the “no poll tax” amendment.

The 25th amendment details the order of succession when the President dies. An easy way to remember this is the short poem, “Prez not alive? See 25!”

Since we've had a few easy mnemonics, we pay for that ease at the 26th amendment. This amendment lowered the voting age to 18. You can remember this by recalling that 26-(2+6)=18. True, we're throwing some arithmetic into the mix, but focusing on this fact can help you remember it all the more.

We're almost done. The last amendment is the 27th, which says that Congress can vote themselves a pay raise, but it won't take effect until after the next Congressional election. Imagine Congress voting themselves to a pay level of $270,000 (click here for current 2009 Congressional pay levels), to help you remember that this is covered by amendment 27. You can also think of it as the highest amendment number covering the highest salaries.

The 27th amendment is not only the highest numbered amendment, it also is the amendment that took the longest to ratify. It was first proposed on September 25, 1789, and wasn't ratified until May 7, 1992 - over 202 years!

Once you've practiced these amendment mnemonics, it's time to put yourself to the test. Here's a constitutional amendment quiz that gives you the subject of the amendment, and you have to give the correct number. Just as in the US Constitution, all the amendment numbers are given as Roman Numerals, so here's a quick Roman numeral refresher course, should you need it.

Spread The Love, Share Our Article

Related Posts

Post Details

1 Response to US Constitutional Amendment Mnemonics (Part III)

8:27 PM

Thanks for all these tips! These will definitely help me on my test tomorrow!