17 made were chosen, but only ten made it. What were they? On December 15, 1791, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution were ratified by the states, but there were 17 to pass after the vote in the House. Once the Senate began its deliberations, 17 had been shortened to 12. From there, the measure was sent to the states for ratification, which brought the 12 to 10. The U.S. Bill of Rights, or the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution became finalized on December 15.