United States Constitution 1787

You will be thrilled to know that the exact measurements of the originals of the Constitution of the United States are as follows:

Four sheets,
approximately 28 3/4 inch by 23 5/8 inch each.



Here you can

 read the full text
of the
United States Constitution


And here you can
download high resolution images of the Constitution.

If you wish to see the Constitution with your own eyes, you are welcome to visit it at Washington D.C.

And the best thing is, admission is free.


What is a Constitution?

A constitution defines the basic principles and laws of a nation.


When Was the Constitution of the United States Created?

The deputies of the Constitutional Convention assembled in Philadelphia, in the State House where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The meeting was called for May 14, 1787, but it took until May 25 until everybody had arrived.

The Constitution was drafted in fewer than one hundred working days.

George Washington, chosen unanimously, presided over the Constitutional Convention.

The average age of the deputies to the Constitutional Convention was about 44 years of age.
Benjamin Franklin, 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 Constitution Signed?

The U.S. 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 operative.


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 Bill 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

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

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 preeminent.


The Oldest Written Constitution

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. Constitution

The first ten amendments came in 1791. They are called the Bill of Rights.

Amendments 11 to 27 were added between 1794 and 1992.




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