United States Constitution 1787
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What is a
dictionary, a constitution
defines the basic principles and laws of a nation.
When Was the
The deputies of the
Constitutional Convention assembled in
Philadelphia, in the State House where the
Independence was signed. The meeting was called for May 14,
1787, but it took until May 25 until everybody had arrived.
Constitution was drafted in fewer than one hundred working days.
chosen unanimously, presided over the Constitutional Convention.
The average age of the deputies to the Constitutional Convention was
about 44 years of age.
of Philadelphia, was the oldest member of the Constitutional
Convention with his 81 years. Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, was
the youngest member, being 26 years old. There were probably 34, out
of 55, who had at least made a study of the law.
Back then, Philadelphia had approx. a population of 28,000;
including its suburbs, about 42,000.
When Was the
The Constitution was finally signed on September 17, 1787.
On the occasion, Benjamin Franklin gave his
Address to the Constitutional Convention, advocating the
signing of the document.
The Constitution was
ratified by the required number of states (nine) by June 21, 1788.
The U.S. National Archives and
Records Administration explains:
On March 3, 1789, the old Confederation went out of existence and on
March 4 the new government of the United States began legally to
function, according to a decision of the Supreme Court of the United
States (wings v. Speed, 5 Wheat. 420); however, it had no practical
existence until April 6, when first the presence of quorums in both
Houses permitted organization of Congress.
On April 30, 1789, George
Washington was inaugurated as President of the United States, so on
that date the executive branch of the government under the
Constitution became operative.
But it was not until February 2,
1790, that the Supreme Court, as head of the third branch of the
government, organized and, held its first session; so that is the
date when the US government under the Constitution became fully
What Was the Situation
Before the Constitution Took Effect?
The country's first constitution was the
Articles of Confederation.
The Articles were in effect from March 1, 1781,
until March 4, 1789.
In a Nutshell, What
are the Contents of the Constitution?
There are seven articles and a preamble.
Throughout the years several amendments were ratified.
The first 10 amendments, which constitute the
of Rights, were added within two years of the signing of the federal
Constitution in order to ensure sufficient guarantees of individual
liberties; 27 amendments have been adopted.
In 1920, for instance, the Nineteenth
Amendment was added, giving women the right to vote.
About Thomas Jefferson
although absent from the Constitutional Convention and during the
period of ratification, rendered no inconsiderable service
to the cause of Constitutional Government, for it was partly through
his insistence that the Bill of Rights, consisting of the first ten
amendments, was adopted.
About James Madison
the delegate from Virginia, was called the Father of the Constitution.
How come? Because in point of erudition and actual
contributions to the formation of the Constitution he was
The Oldest Written
The United States has the oldest written constitution among the
major nations of the world. All later Constitutions show its
influence; it has been copied extensively throughout the world.
Amendments to the U.S.
The first ten
amendments came in 1791. They are called the
Bill of Rights.
Amendments 11 to 27
were added between 1794 and 1992.